American Taliban John Walker Lindh met with convicted ISIS supporter, FBI says 

Author: Yuvi January 27, 2023

The ‘American Taliban’ John Walker Lindh was observed by the FBI meeting with a convicted Islamic State supporter after both men were released from US prison, according to a recently unsealed court filing. 

The FBI photographed Lindh meeting with Ali Shukri Amin on three different occasions in August and October of 2021 for about three hours, according to the filing reviewed by 

The document does not state where the meetings occurred, but both Lindh and Amin were residing in northern Virginia at the time. 

The meetings violate a condition of Amin’s lifetime term of supervised release, which bars him from meeting with known extremists, prosecutors said.

Lindh has not been charged with violating the terms of his release, even though the meetings occurred while he was on supervised release. Lindh is no longer subject to supervision, as his term of supervised release expired last year.

The ‘American Taliban’ John Walker Lindh (left) was observed by the FBI meeting with Ali Shukri Amin (right), a convicted Islamic State supporter, court filings say

Lindh, a US citizen, was captured as an enemy combatant during the initial US invasion of Afghanistan in November 2001, and admitted to fighting for the Taliban

It’s not entirely clear why authorities used the meeting as a basis to claim a violation against Amin but not against Lindh, given that they both were barred from meeting with other extremists.

Lindh, a US citizen, was captured as an enemy combatant during the initial US invasion of Afghanistan in November 2001 and admitted to fighting for the Taliban in pleading guilty to two felony counts. 

The new court filing says that Lindh, who was released from federal prison in 2019, ‘remains a known extremist and is believed by the FBI to hold extremist ideations.’ 

The court documents also show that authorities had other reasons to be concerned about Amin beyond his meetings with Lindh. 

Amin, who lives in Dumfries, is also accused of corresponding online with an unnamed British individual described as a ‘known extremist’ until that person was arrested in February 2022 by British authorities.

In his conversations with the British individual, authorities say Amin provided guidance related to the teachings of two Islamic preachers considered extremists by the FBI, Amad Musa Jabril and Abula Al-Azzam, according to the court document.

Amin (left and right) was 17 when he pleaded guilty in 2015 to helping the Islamic State group by using social media to provide advice and encouragement to the group and its supporters

The document also accuses Amin of using a virtual private network to conceal his online activity and evade the supervision of his parole officer.

Michael Jensen, an investigator with the University of Maryland’s National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, said terrorism defendants are assigned to veteran probation officers who devote significant time and energy to helping them transition back into their communities, and it’s unusual to petition for revocation of supervised release.

‘(I)f a probation officer is petitioning the court to revoke supervised release, then they have significant concerns that the individual is not reintegrating into their community successfully and that they remain a potential threat,’ he said.

It is clear, though, that the FBI and other agencies also continue to harbor concerns about Lindh’s activity, ideology, and continued radicalization after his release from prison in 2019. 

Lindh was the first American to face major terrorism charges after the attacks on September 11, 2001. 

He was convicted of supplying services to the Taliban after he was captured in Afghanistan in the weeks after the 9/11 attacks fighting with Taliban forces against the US-backed Northern Alliance.

John Walker Lindh (L) is led away by a Northern Alliance soldier after he was captured among al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners following an uprising at the Fort Qali-i-Janghi prison in 2001

This image made from television footage made in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, December 1, 2001, shows John Walker Lindh at right, claiming to be an American Taliban volunteer

He was sentenced to 20 years in prison as part of a plea deal and was released from custody in 2019 after serving about 85% of his sentence, with the remainder reduced for good behavior.

Shortly before he was released, a judge imposed additional restrictions on his three-year period of supervised release, in addition to the original conditions that included the ban on meeting with known extremists. 

The new requirements included monitoring software on his internet devices, requiring that his online communications be conducted in English, and forbidding him from possessing extremist material, holding a passport or leaving the US.

Amin’s case was notable primarily because of his age. It’s rare for federal prosecutors to seek and obtain convictions against people under the age of 18. 

Amin’s case was notable primarily because of his age. He was 17 when he pleaded guilty

But Amin was 17 when he pleaded guilty in 2015 to helping the Islamic State group by using social media to provide advice and encouragement to the group and its supporters under the Twitter handle @Amreekiwitness. Amreeki translates to ‘American.’

He also admitted to helping a classmate, 18-year-old Reza Niknejad, travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group.

He was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison but later had his sentence reduced to six years, and was released in May 2020, prison records show. 

Still, he filed multiple lawsuits and petitions seeking to have his conviction overturned. 

In one lawsuit he accused the FBI of ‘manipulating his underdeveloped juvenile brain’ and contributing to his radicalization by placing his online activities under surveillance at a young age.

Even though he admitted his guilt, he argued that his online activities should have been protected free speech and that he was wrongly prosecuted ‘based on his profession of views which do not conform to the normative scope of American bipartisan consensus.’

Amin, who has been working in a part-time information technology job, was re-arrested on January 11 on suspicion of violating the terms of his supervised release. 

A hearing on whether to revoke Amin’s supervised release is scheduled for February 13. 

Amin’s lawyer, Jessica Carmichael, declined to comment but is expected to file a motion on her client’s behalf ahead of the hearing.

Judges have the option to send defendants back to prison or to extend their time on supervision, though in Amin’s case he has already been sentenced to lifetime supervision.

27 January, 2023, 8:54 am

News Cinema on twitter News Cinema on facebook share newscinema latest news on whatsapp

Friday, 27th January 2023

Latest Cinema

Top News

More Stories