'American Taliban' Set for Release from Prison

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This combination of pictures created on April 17, 2019 shows at left a police file photo made available February 6, 2002 of the "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh and at right a February 11, 2002 photograph of him as seen from the records of the Arabia Hassani Kalan Surani Bannu madrassa (religious school) in Pakistan's northwestern city of Bannu. (Photo: Tariq Mahmood/AFP/Getty Images)

Marin native John Walker Lindh, who became known as the "American Taliban" after he was captured in Afghanistan in 2001, is set for release after nearly two decades in federal prison for providing support to the Taliban. Lindh, 20 at the time, was present at a prison uprising that claimed the first U.S. casualty of the war, 32-year-old CIA officer Johnny Micheal Spann. Forum discusses Lindh’s release, and the upcoming challenge of how to deal with hundreds of people convicted of jihadist-related terrorism crimes since 2001 who are ending their prison terms.


Kathy Gilsinan, senior editor for global news, The Atlantic