American who joined the Taliban is released from prison

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Lindh, who grew up in California and was captured in Afghanistan in November 2001, said joining the Taliban was a "mistake" during a sentencing hearing in 2002, but he changed his tune in later years, telling NBC Los Angeles in a 2014 letter that he was proud to have been "part of the Afghan jihad".

"What bothers me more than anything else is that here's a man who has not given up his proclamation of terror, and we have to let him out". He added, "I don't like it at all".

On the eve of his release, USA television station KNBC said it had received letters from Lindh during his imprisonment in which he allegedly praised the Islamic State extremist group and called himself a political prisoner.

Lindh, photographed as a wild-eyed, bearded 20-year-old at his capture, will leave a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana on probation after serving 17 years of a 20-year sentence, according to a prison official.

The Bureau of Prisons said Lindh rejected an interview request submitted by The Associated Press, and his lawyer declined to comment.

One of them, Johnny Micheal Spann, was killed in a prisoner revolt hours after he interrogated Lindh, making him the first American killed in post-9/11 conflict in Afghanistan. He was present when a group of Taliban prisoners launched an attack that killed Spann.

The conditions of Lindh's release include a demand that he go through mental health counseling, that he not communicate or espouse extremist views and there are several restrictions related to his internet use - including a stipulation that he can only communicate online in English.

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Lindh's release underscores the fact that, nearly two decades later, the USA war against the Taliban continues. Pompeo said Lindh "still is threatening the United states of America, still committed to the very jihad that he engaged in that killed a great American and a great Central Intelligence Agency officer". But he admitted carrying an assault rifle and two grenades.

"As of May 2016, John Walker Lindh (USPER) - who is scheduled to be released in May 2019 after being convicted of supporting the Taliban - continued to advocate for global jihad and to write and translate violent extremist texts".

In it, she called Mr Lindh's early release "a slap in the face" to everyone killed on September 11 and in the war on terror since then, along with "the millions of Muslims worldwide who don't support radical extremists".

"The complex saga of John Walker Lindh is central to the most controversial legal issues in the post 9/11 era of the United States", said Vinnie Malhotra, executive vice president, non-fiction programming, Showtime Networks Inc.

USA troops captured Lindh in Afghanistan after the September 11 terror attacks.

Some US lawmakers fear Lindh remains a security risk.

Republican Alabama senator Richard Shelby and Democratic New Hampshire senator Maggie Hassan also expressed concern about Mr Lindh's release in a letter last week to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

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