‘American Taliban’ John Walker Lindh Gets Release Date From Prison

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Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
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John Walker Lindh, the so-called “American Taliban,” will be released from prison in May, according to new court filings.

Lindh, 38, was captured as an enemy combatant in Afghanistan in November 2001. He was indicted in February 2002 on 10 counts, including conspiracy to commit murder and aiding the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

Lindh was initially accused of conspiring with other Taliban prisoners in an uprising in December 2001. Johnny Spann, a CIA officer who had questioned Lindh just before the uprising, and prosecutors claimed that he knew about plans for the Taliban revolt.

Prosecutors ended up dropping eight of the 10 charges against Lindh in exchange for him pleading guilty to aiding the Taliban and carrying weapons during the commission of a felony.

File photo of Lindh (L) being led away by a Northern Alliance soldier (R) near the Fort Qali-i-Janghi prison near Mazar-i-Sharif December 1, 2001 after he was captured among al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners following an uprising at the prison. REUTERS

Lindh was sentenced to 20 years in prison in October 2002. He will be released from federal prison in Indiana on May 23, according to court documents submitted on Wednesday.

According to NBC News, Judge T.S. Ellis III is imposing several restrictions on Lindh as part of the conditions of his release. Ellis said that Lindh must seek permission before leaving the U.S. He is also not allowed to communicate online in any language besides English. (RELATED: Former CIA Officer Advocates For Terrorist Registry After His Colleague Was Killed)

Lindh was the subject of intense fascination after being detained in Afghanistan. After converting to Islam at the age of 17, Lindh, a California native, traveled to Yemen and then to Afghanistan, where he trained in an Al-Qaeda camp. Government prosecutors initially alleged that Lindh met with Osama bin Laden at one point.

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