John Walker Lindh: Anger as ‘American Taliban’ freed


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John Walker Lindh expressed remorse for becoming a member of the Taliban in 2002, however individuals have raised doubts about this contrition

John Walker Lindh – the so-called “American Taliban” – has been launched from jail, a transfer Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared “unconscionable”.

Lindh served 17 years of a 20-year sentence after he was captured in 2001 preventing in Afghanistan.

His early launch has sparked fierce criticism, with many believing he nonetheless harbours extremist views.

In an interview with Fox Information on Thursday, Mr Pompeo mentioned it was “deeply troubling and incorrect”.

What occurs whenever you launch a ‘traitor’?
The American Taliban, 10 years on

Mr Lindh “nonetheless is threatening america of America” and was “nonetheless dedicated to the very jihad that he engaged in”, he mentioned.

His lawyer Invoice Cummings informed CNN Lindh would now transfer to Virginia and reside underneath the route of his probation officer.

Who’s John Walker Lindh?

Born in Washington DC in 1981 and named after John Lennon, Lindh was raised a Catholic.

He dropped out of faculty and transformed to Islam on the age of 16, transferring to Yemen the subsequent yr to be taught Arabic.

In 2000 he went to check in Pakistan and ultimately travelled to Afghanistan in Might 2001 to hitch the Taliban.

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Media captionJohn Lindh’s father spoke to the BBC in 2011 about his son

US forces captured and arrested Lindh shortly after the invasion of the nation within the wake of the September 11 terror assaults.

“Had I realised then what I do know now concerning the Taliban, I might by no means have joined them,” Lindh mentioned throughout his sentencing in 2002.

Is Lindh nonetheless an extremist?

There are issues that Lindh has not deserted his extremism.

International Coverage journal revealed US authorities paperwork in 2017 stating that the prisoner “continued to advocate for world jihad and to write down and translate violent extremist texts”.

And in March final yr, Lindh “informed a tv information producer that he would proceed to unfold violent extremist Islam upon his launch”, the paperwork allege.

Extra just lately, The Atlantic journal’s journalist Graeme Wooden wrote letters to Lindh whereas he was behind bars and describes him as “unrepentant”.

“His greater than 17 years in captivity appear, on the idea of this correspondence, to have transformed Lindh from an al-Qaeda supporter to an Islamic State supporter,” Mr Wooden wrote.

Launched right into a world unprepared for his arrival

By Tara McKelvey, BBC Information, Washington

After his launch John Walker Lindh, now 38, is not going to be allowed to go surfing except he has particular permission, and he can not journey freely.

He’ll uncover a world that has modified dramatically since his incarceration and face a society that has finished little to organize for his arrival.

The US authorities doesn’t have an official programme or set of procedures to assist individuals convicted of terrorism discover their manner on this planet after their launch.

Many specialists, together with the Federation of American Scientists’ Steven Aftergood, who specialises in nationwide safety, say the US ought to do extra to assist.

“Within the justice system, we are saying ‘You, the prison, are usually not like us’. However there’s additionally a duty for society to say on the finish ‘There’s a place for you in our world’. We’re very unhealthy at that.”

What occurs whenever you launch a ‘traitor’?

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John Walker Lindh, left, was captured by Northern Alliance Afghan forces in 2001

Can Lindh reintegrate into US society?

Senators Richard Shelby and Maggie Hassan – a Republican and a Democrat, respectively – wrote a letter on Friday to the Federal Bureau of Prisons asking methods to deal with such circumstances.

Obtained by the Washington Publish, the letter urges the group to think about “the safety and security implications for our residents and communities who will obtain people like John Walker Lindh”.

However others are much less involved. Investigative journalist Trevor Aaronson says Lindh is the 476th individual convicted of terrorism after the September 11 terror assaults who has now been launched.

“To be clear, the federal authorities has no program to watch launched terrorists – suggesting that convicted terrorists may be rehabilitated fully after comparatively temporary sentences or that many of those individuals weren’t significantly harmful within the first place,” Mr Aaronson tweeted.

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