John Walker Lindh, the American Taliban, seeks Irish citizenship - POLL
Irish American likely to settle in Ireland on his release if given citizenship
Walker Lindh met Osama Bin Laden when he visited his training camp.
The New England Review reported that, speaking in San Francisco, Lindh said his son is dealing well with incarceration. Although he was sentenced to 20 years, it is thought that he’ll be out sooner.
He said, “He's a very calm and centered person…He's very spiritual. He does his daily prayers. He's an observant Muslim. We talk heart to heart a lot."
Lindh has been running a campaign to clear his son’s name. He maintains that Walker Lindh was falsely accused and claims that the media wrongly named him a terrorist.
He said his son was serving with the Taliban in order to protect civilians who were being victimized by the Northern Alliance.
Currently, Walker Lindh is being held in a special unit of a Terre Haute Indiana federal prison, which holds mostly Muslim inmates. Their communication with the outside world is limited.
At first, Walker Lindh was held in a SuperMax prison for a year. His father said he remembers his son being brought to see him in chains. However, now Walker Lindh can leave his cell and socialize with his fellow inmates.
Speaking at the Commonwealth Club in California for the first time since his son was captured in 2006, Frank Lindh spelt out his son’s story.
Lindh said, “This is the story of a decent and honorable young man, embarked on a spiritual quest, who became the focus of the grief and anger of an entire nation,” according to AlterNet.
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The father explained that Walker Lindh has first become interested in Islam in 1993, and eventually converted when he was 16. His father said, “I thought he had always been a Muslim, and he simply had to find it for himself.”
At the age of 17 he travelled to Yemen where he studied Arabic. In 2000 he made the decision to travel to Pakistan to continue his study of Islam, memorizing the Koran with the aim of becoming a Muslim scholar.
In April 2001, he wrote to his father to tell him he was going into the mountains to get away from the heat. Lindh said, “What he didn't tell us, what we didn't learn until later, was that John was going over the mountains, into Afghanistan, intent on volunteering for military service in the army of Afghanistan.”
He continued, “John received infantry training at a government-run military training camp. But the training camp was funded by Osama bin Laden…John actually saw Osama bin Laden and met him on one occasion. He came away from those encounters very skeptical about bin Laden because John recognized instantly that bin Laden was not an authentic Islamic scholar based on what John himself knows.”
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