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HONOR THE FALLEN

On the eve of Memorial Day weekend in America….a convicted terrorist is expected to walk free.

The backstory of “the American Taliban” & why it matters

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Backstory

  • After 9/11, the CIA sent teams to Afghanistan.
  • In November 2001, CIA officer Johnny Micheal Spann interviewed suspected terrorists, including an American: John Walker Lindh.
  • Prisoners revolted & killed Spann – who became the first American killed in combat during the “War on Terror.”
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John Walker Lindh

  • American-born, raised Catholic but converted to Islam at 16.
  • At 17, he traveled to Yemen to learn Arabic.
  • By 2000, traveled to Afghanistan & Pakistan. Fought with the Taliban, surrendering in late 2001.
  • Pleaded guilty to terrorism charges & sentenced to 20 years.
  • Expected to be released Thursday — 3 years early.
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“He’s referred to as the ‘American Taliban,’ but I think it needs to be clear that he was working and training with al Qaeda, who carried out the 9/11 attacks…He hasn’t denounced radical Islam. And I think whether it’s the United States or the rest of the world — that should scare everybody.”

Alison Spann, the daughter of Jonny Micheal Spann, who was 9-years-old when her dad died, calls Lindh's release a "slap in the face."
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“In many ways, he’s a case study of a larger issue they have in government: They arrested hundreds of people since 2002 but there’s not a system in place to address these individuals.”

Dep. Dir. of George Washington University’s program on extremism, Seamus Hughes. Dozens of convicted terrorists, arrested post 9/11, are expected to be released over the next several years.
Current Events

Lindh's early release on probation is typically for prisoners for good behavior. As recently as 2017 a report said the U.S. gov't believed Lindh “continued to advocate for global jihad and to write and translate violent extremist texts.”

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