BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — UPDATE (5/23/19): John Walker Lindh “The American Taliban“ has been released from prison, according to sources with CNN. It is reported that he will live in Virginia.
Original Story: The Alabama father of the first man killed in Afghanistan is making one last push to stop an American with ties to terrorists from being released early from prison.
John Walker Lindh is scheduled to be released early from a federal facility in Indiana on May 23.
Lindh served 17 years of his 20-year sentence for helping the Taliban.
After Lindh’s capture, CIA paramilitary officer Mike Spann interrogated him, but was killed moments after when a prison riot broke out.
Spann’s father, Johnny, believes Lindh could have warned his fellow American.
“He was an Al-Qaida member…he fought with them on the front lines,“ said Johnny Spann.
Johnny Spann recently returned from Washington D.C. for a memorial service honoring his son. He also filed one last request with officials to stop Lindh’s release.
“Mike isn’t the only one that’s given his life. We’ve had a lot of people and I feel for all of them. I feel for all the families,“ said Johnny Spann.
Lawmakers, including U.S. Senator Richard Shelby from Alabama, have asked prison leaders to investigate reports that Lindh continues to communicate with terrorist groups and has plans to spread radical views upon his release.
“I think he shouldn’t be let out, I know that is up to the bureau of prisons, but I think that would be a mistake,“ said Senator Shelby.
Micheal Spann’s oldest daughter recently wrote a letter to President Donald Trump where she called the early release a “slap in the face.“
Johnny Spann thinks more should be done to protect people who serve.
“The thing that makes me so angry I guess is the fact that we as Americans back home, we don’t stand up for our veterans, for our people’s that give their life, for those that sacrificed everything,“ said Johnny Spann.
Lindh’s family and attorney declined to speak to media recently, but in a 2007 interview with CBS News, Lindh’s father said his son was not a traitor.
“We know he is not anti-American; we know he doesn’t have any sympathy for terrorism,“ Frank Lindh said in 2007.
Just before Memorial Day, Johnny Spann hopes leaders reconsider a decision that could impact a country his son died protecting.
“Any person that is fallen jihad and has radical Islamic ideas and practices is a threat to Americans. All Americans” said Johnny Spann.
Lindh will be monitored based on conditions set by the courts if he is released.