John Walker Lindh, sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2002 for helping the Taliban after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S., will walk free next month, albeit with restrictions on his internet access.
Captured at age 20, the now 38-year-old Lindh has been in federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., since pleading guilty. He will be released on May 23.
When Lindh is allowed online, he can only communicate in English, the judge said. He also must get mental health counseling, and can’t leave the U.S. without court permission.
“Given the rare nature of defendant’s crime and his unique personal history and characteristics, the probation officer recently filed a request asking the court to impose additional special conditions of supervised release which will govern defendant’s behavior post-confinement,” Judge T.S. Ellis III wrote in court papers quoted by NBC News.
Objections are strong from the family of Johnny Spann, a 32-year-old CIA agent who was killed in the uprising that Lindh was arrested during. Spann and others had been questioning Lindh just before that battle.
Though no direct link has been found between Lindh and Spann’s death, his family and the Alabama Legislature have opposed his release.