U.S. News

'American Taliban' Lindh to be released Thursday from prison

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. - John Walker Lindh, an American captured with the Taliban in November 2001 just weeks after the US launched the war in Afghanistan, is to be released in May 2019 after 17 years in prison.
TARIQ MAHMOOD | AFP | Getty Images

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 behaviour.

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.