TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – John Walker Lindh, the man convicted of helping the Taliban following the September 11 attacks, was just released from federal prison in Terre Haute.
Lindh’s case began in November of 2001 when he was fighting alongside the Taliban. The California native had converted to Islam as a teenager and eventually traveled overseas to fight alongside radical Islamists.
Not two months after 9/11, Lindh was captured in Afghanistan, detained and interviewed by a CIA officer, a former Marine named Mike Spann. Just hours later, Spann was killed in a prisoner uprising at the same facility. In the aftermath of that uprising, Lindh was brought back to the U.S. and charged with conspiring to kill Americans and engaging in terrorism.
A conviction could have meant life in prison. Instead, attorneys accepted a plea deal approved by President George W. Bush. Those charges were dropped and Lindh only pleaded guilty to serving in the Taliban army and carrying weapons while doing so. That resulted in a 20-year sentence. With good behavior, Lindh will be released on May 23 after serving 17 years.