An American who became a Taliban militant and took up arms against the U.S military will be released from federal prison in May.
John Walker Lindh traveled to Afghanistan in 2001 to join forces with the Islamist militant group. He was later captured by American forces after the invasion of the country that year, and was returned to the United States to face ten felony charges involving providing aid to the enemy.
Lindh, also known as simply ‘John Walker,’ is possibly one of the first individuals from an American or Western background to be radicalized into Islamist extremism. A native of California, he converted to Islam when he was 16 years old and traveled to nations such as Pakistan and Yemen to familiarize himself with the religion.
It’s said that Walker Lindh has declined to fully renounce the Islamist beliefs that led him to travel to Afghanistan, even though he’ll be released after completing 17 years of a 20 year prison sentence in May. A document from the National Counterterrorism Center alleges that Lindh has played a role in translating Islamist extremist texts while in prison.
Walker is said to have obtained Irish citizenship from a grandparent, and is planning on taking up residence in Ireland upon his release.
Islamist militants imprisoned by the United States have been known to return to violent extremism after completing their prison sentences.
Individuals affiliated with the Afghan Taliban who were freed in a prisoner-of-war swap for U.S Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl are known to have reestablished ties with the Afghan Islamist organization.
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