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“American Taliban” John Walker Lindh Released on Parole After 17 Years

HeadlineMay 23, 2019

John Walker Lindh, an American captured in Afghanistan in 2001 and convicted of serving the Taliban, is set to be released from an Indiana prison today after spending 17 years behind bars. Known as the “American Taliban,” Lindh converted to Islam at the age of 16 and ended up in Afghanistan, where he fought with the Taliban-run Afghan army against the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan’s civil war. He was captured in late 2001 after being found emaciated and wounded as one of the few to survive a massacre by the Northern Alliance. He was then handed to U.S. forces, but they brutalized him, as well. Former Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld had ordered them to “take the gloves off.” When he returned to the United States in January 2002, Lindh was being held as a prisoner accused of conspiring to kill Americans. As part of a plea deal, Lindh pleaded guilty to serving in the Taliban army and carrying weapons, and was given a 20-year sentence.

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