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 after 17 years in prison, AFP has reported.
Recently filed court documents confirmed that the 38-year-old, dubbed "American Taliban," will be released from federal prison in Indiana on May 23rd, even as the conflict in Afghanistan continues to rage.
Born into a Catholic family, Lindh converted to Islam while a high school student near San Fransisco.
At the age of seventeen, in 1998, he travelled to Yemen to study Arabic, and then in early 2001, four months before the Al-Qaeda attacks on September 11th, he travelled to Afghanistan to join Taliban forces in their fight against the Northern Alliance.
After 9/11, Lindh was captured and handed over to US forces and then sent back to the United States to stand trial.
Prosecutors were hobbled by reports that he may have been tortured into confessing while in US custody.
They negotiated a deal in which Lindh would plead guilty to supplying services to the Taliban and illegal possession of a rifle and grenades while doing so.