‘American Taliban’ John Walker Lindh Praised ISIS in 2015 Handwritten Letter


John Walker Lindh, set to be released from prison Thursday, wrote a handwritten letter to NBC’s Los Angeles station praising the Islamic State.

Lindh pleaded guilty in 2002 to charges of providing support to the Taliban and carrying a rifle and grenade.

The now-38-year-old from California has served 17 years of a 20-year sentence.

In one of four letters sent to the Los Angeles NBC station, KNBC, Lindh responded to a reporter’s question of whether ISIS represented Islam, according to NBC News.

“Yes, and they are doing a spectacular job,” Lindh wrote in the February 2015 handwritten response, KNBC Los Angeles reported.

Lindsey Graham Ties Border Funding to Ukraine Aid, Has Tough Message for Anyone Who Doesn't Like It

“The Islamic State is clearly very sincere and serious about fulfilling the long-neglected religious obligation of establishing a caliphate through armed struggle, which is the only correct method.”

These comments came after ISIS publicized videos showing the beheading of numerous American journalists in 2014, according to NBC News.

Lindh has spent his time in jail learning about Islam and said that he is a political prisoner in another letter to the NBC reporter.

“We are in prison due to our beliefs and the practice of our religion, not for committing any crime,” Lindh wrote in a March 2014 letter, according to KNBC Los Angeles.

Do you think Lindh should serve the full 20-year sentence?

The reporter asked through correspondence if time behind bars had changed him.

Lindh responded: “I feel honoured to have been able to take part in the Afghan Jihad and to contribute to the defence of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, albeit only in a very limited capacity.”

Lindh signed his letters with the name Yahya.

During prison, Lindh joined a successful 2010 American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit that sought to allow Muslim prisoners at Terre Haute’s Communications Management Unit to participate in group prayer.

The National Counterterrorism Center published a 2017 report that said Lindh “continued to advocate for global jihad.” He allegedly made comments saying that he would continue to “spread violent extremist Islam upon his release.”

FBI Scrambling to Track Down Migrants Brought to the US by ISIS-Tied Smuggler

Lindh said that he “made a mistake by joining the Taliban” in the 2002 trial.

Lindh’s early release has sparked wide concern, including from Sens. Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican and New Hampshire Democrat Maggie Hasson, as well as former CIA officer Bryan Dean Wright.

Also expressing criticism was Johnny Spann, the father of CIA operative Johnny Micheal Spann who was killed during a 2001 prisoner uprising in Afghanistan shortly after interrogating Lindh.

He will be under strict rules upon his release that were imposed by Judge T.S. Ellis. These include being banned from foreign travel and total monitoring of his internet use.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact

A version of this article appeared on The Daily Caller News Foundation website.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , ,
Founded by Tucker Carlson, a 25-year veteran of print and broadcast media, and Neil Patel, former chief policy adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, The Daily Caller News Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit providing original investigative reporting from a team of professional reporters that operates for the public benefit. Photo credit: @DailyCaller on Twitter