The Latest: Trump says Lindh will be watched closely
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — The Latest on John Walker Lindh’s release from prison (all times local):
President Donald Trump says the U.S. will closely monitor John Walker Lindh, the Californian who took up arms for the Taliban, after his release earlier Thursday from federal prison.
Trump says Lindh “has not given up his proclamation of terror.” He added, “I don’t like it at all.”
Trump says he asked lawyers whether there was anything that could be done to block Lindh’s release but was told that “from a legal standpoint, there’s nothing we’re allowed to do.”
The 38-year-old Lindh left a federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, after getting time off for good behavior from the 20-year sentence he received upon pleading guilty to providing support to the Taliban.
Lindh’s lawyer declined comment Thursday.
The daughter of a CIA officer killed in Afghanistan after interrogating John Walker Lindh in 2001 wrote President Donald Trump urging him to block the early release of the so-called “American Taliban.”
Lindh walked free on Thursday anyway, having served 17 years of a 20-year sentence for illegally aiding the Taliban forces.
Alison Spann is now a journalist in Mississippi. She says she last saw her father, Mike Spann, when she was 9 years old. She posted her letter to Trump on her Twitter page, calling her dad ’the first American killed in the war on terror.”
She calls the early release of Lindh for good behavior “a slap in the face” to everyone killed on Sept. 11, 2001, all their loved ones, and “to the millions of Muslims worldwide who don’t support radical extremists.”
This item has been amended to correct that Alison Spann is a journalist in Mississippi, not Alabama.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the early release of John Walker Lindh from federal prison is “unexplainable and unconscionable.”
Lindh was released Thursday from a facility in Indiana, having served 17 years of a 20-year sentence.
Pompeo told “Fox and Friends” that the so-called “American Taliban” continues to pose a threat. He called for a review of the prison system’s early release policies.
The young man from Northern California had joined the Taliban and was with them in Afghanistan during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Lindh also was there when a group of Taliban prisoners rose up and killed CIA officer Johnny Micheal “Mike” Spann.
Lindh struck a plea bargain in which he admitted to illegally providing support to the Taliban but denied a role in Spann’s death.
The California man who became known as the “American Taliban” after his capture on an Afghanistan battlefield in late 2001 is on the cusp of release from prison.
Thirty-eight-year-old John Walker Lindh is scheduled for release Thursday from the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. He has spent more than 17 years in prison after pleading guilty to providing support to the Taliban.
The plea deal called for a 20-year sentence, but Lindh is getting out a few years early for good behavior.
His release is opposed by the family of Mike Spann. He 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.
This story has been corrected to ... Corrects in most recent item that Alison Spann is a journalist in Mississippi, not Alabama.