After 17 years in prison, John Walker Lindh, the American who joined the Taliban prior to the 9/11 attacks, was released. He was captured by 5th Special Forces Group soldiers and Northern Alliance fighters during the opening days of the war in Afghanistan. Often referred to as the “American Taliban,” Lindh converted to Islam as a teenager.
There are stipulations regarding his release. A CNN report states Lindh “is not allowed to possess any ‘internet capable device’ without permission from the probation office.” He’s barred from possessing or watching extremists videos. He’s also banned from foreign travel and will be supervised by parole officers.
In a letter to NBC producers, Lindh responded to the question of whether he felt that ISIS represents Islam. He replied, “Yes, and they are doing a spectacular job. The Islamic State is clearly very sincere and serious about fulfilling the long-neglected religious obligation of establishing a caliphate through armed struggle, which is the only correct method.”
At his sentencing, Lindh expressed remorse before the court and said that terrorism is never justified. However, in another letter to news producers in 2014 he wrote, “I feel honoured to have been able to take part in the Afghan Jihad and to contribute to the defence of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, albeit only in a very limited capacity.”