Washington: An Islamic terrorist, who came to be infamously known as the “American Taliban” after his 2001 capture in Afghanistan is set to be released from a US prison on Thursday, three years before he completes his 20-year-sentence, federal officials said.
John Walker Lindh, who is currently serving time in Terre Haute, Indiana, for joining and supporting the Taliban, Fox News reported.
Lindh’s release came in a surprise move by federal authorities, despite lawmakers’ concerns about the “security and safety implications” of freeing an unrepentant terrorist who officials say continues to “openly call for extremist violence.”
The former Islamist fighter, named “Detainee 001 in the war on terror,” was arrested in 2001, just months after the September 11 attacks on Twin Towers in New York and the US invasion of Afghanistan in October, along with a group of Taliban fighters who were captured by US forces.
Raising concern over the release, Senators Richard C. Shelby and Maggie Hassan, in a letter to the Federal Bureau of Prisons late last week, said, “We must consider the security and safety implications for our citizens and communities who will receive individuals like John Walker Lindh, who continue to openly call for extremist violence.”
In the letter, cited by The Washington Post, the lawmakers further sought details on how the agency is working to prevent prisoners such as Lindh from committing additional crimes after their release. They also asked which other “terrorist offenders” are next in line to be freed and how the Federal Bureau of Prisons determines whether or not someone is an “ongoing public threat”.