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‘American Taliban’ Lindh being released after 17 years

FILE – American John Walker Lindh is seen in this undated file photo obtained Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2002, from a religious school where he studied for five months in Bannu, 304 kilometers (190 miles) southwest of Islamabad, Pakistan. Lindh, the young Californian who became known as the American Taliban after he was captured by U.S. forces in the invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, is set to go free Thursday, May 23, 2019, after nearly two decades in prison. (AP Photo, File)

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — The California man who became known as the “American Taliban” after his battlefield capture in Afghanistan battlefield in November 2001 is being released from prison.

Thirty-eight-year-old John Walker Lindh has spent more than 17 years in prison after pleading guilty to providing support to the Taliban. His status in the inmate registry changed from scheduled for release Thursday from the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, to “unknown.” His lawyer in Virginia, Bill Cummings, said “no comment, bye-bye” when asked if Lindh had been freed.

Lindh’s plea deal called for a 20-year sentence, but he’s getting out a few years early for good behavior.

His release has been opposed by the family of Mike Spann, who was killed in Afghanistan during an uprising of Taliban prisoners. Spann had interrogated Lindh shortly before the attack.

A judge recently imposed additional restrictions on Lindh’s post-release supervision, including monitoring of his internet use.

CNN

CNN

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