Daughter of slain CIA officer appeals to Trump to stop ‘American Taliban’ release: ‘Slap in the face’ to all killed on 9/11

(FILE PHOTO by video screenshot/public domain)

Both the daughter and the father of a CIA officer who was murdered in Afghanistan shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks are speaking out against the upcoming early release from prison of John Walker Lindh, an American-born terrorist affiliated with both the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

“I’ve spent 18 years without my dad. It never crossed my mind that the United States would let someone like this out early,” Alison Spann, now 27, said in an interview with the Washington Examiner. “Lindh is a traitor, and I think his early release is a slap in the face.”

Shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, Spann’s father, CIA paramilitary officer and former Marine Johnny “Mike” Spann, was deployed to northern Afghanistan for an undisclosed mission.

“Less than two months later — and moments after he had been questioning a bedraggled Taliban detainee named John Walker Lindh — he was killed by a mob of prisoners attempting to escape from the remote fortress of Qala-i-Jangi,” the Examiner reported.

Spann’s mother reportedly died of cancer a month later.

Upon his recapture, Lindh was identified as a California-born man who had converted to Islam at the age of 16 and later traveled to the Middle East, trained with al-Qaeda and joined the Taliban. He was eventually returned to the states and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

During his sentencing hearing on Oct. 4, 2002, he tearfully expressed remorse and claimed his decision to join the Taliban had been a mistake. However, the evidence suggests he’d been lying.

Learn more about his sentencing below:

“He’s referred to as the ‘American Taliban,’ but I think it needs to be clear that he was working and training with al Qaeda, who carried out the 9/11 attacks,” Spann said to the Examiner.

“Before 9/11, he was training with al Qaeda. And after 9/11, he stayed with al Qaeda. You don’t accidentally stumble into an al Qaeda training camp.”

She added that he also “hasn’t denounced radical Islam.” Nor has he displayed any signs in prison of being a reformed man, according to a letter submitted in court by Spann’s grandfather.

In his filing, Johnny Spann, the father of Mike Spann, pointed to reports from the National Counterterrorism Center that show Lindh has “continued to advocate for global jihad and to write and translate violent extremist texts” while incarcerated, as noted by CNN.

The documents further state that in 2016, Lindh “told a television news producer that he would continue to spread violent extremist Islam upon his release.”

He also obtained Irish citizenship, according to FNC’s “The Story with Martha MacCallum“:

Filed Monday, Johnny Spann’s petition requests that the court order “a thorough investigation of the actions of John Walker Lindh that have been reported by the National Counterterrorism Center.”

“Nothing will be gained by not enforcing the Laws of the United States and holding those that break it accountable for their actions,” he reportedly wrote.

“If you were here talking to me today and John Walker Lindh had been in prison for the 17 years of a 20-year sentence and he had been a model prisoner… I would have said he served his time, he’s done what they said to do,” he added during an interview Sunday on CNN.

“But with all these reports that are out, all these things that have been said and reported, what I am asking to happen is that they do an intense investigation, a thorough investigation of those reports to see if he actually has done that.”

The evidence all point to the jihadi terrorist being just as radical now as he was back in 2002. Why therefore is he being released, and who exactly authorized his release?


According to the Examiner, Lindh’s early release date was set for May 23 by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III, a Reagan appointee certainly not known for his liberal thinking.

Besides being the judge who famously berated special counsel Robert Mueller’s team last year, Ellis is also the same judge who handed former Trump campaign Paul Manafort a light sentence. It’s unclear why Ellis believed Lindh deserved to be released two years before his official release date.

Spann has for her part submitted a letter to President Donald Trump requesting that he intervene to stop Lindh from being released early from prison:

“I feel his early release is a slap in the face — not only to my father and my family, but for every person killed on Sept. 11th, their families, the U.S. military, U.S. intelligent services, families who have lost loved ones to this war and the millions of Muslims worldwide who don’t support radical extremists,” she wrote.

“Lindh was in Afghanistan training with al Qaeda while the September 11th attacks were planned, and he was there fighting with them after the attacks were carried out. He is a traitor and he should not be released early.”

Included with the letter was a brief biography of her father:

“Mike Spann made a positive impact on the world, both here in the United States and abroad. He is loved and remembered by two communities — his brothers in Afghanistan and his friends, family, and brothers here in the United States. He’s admired and respected not because of the way he died, but because of the way he lived his life. Please do not let his sacrifice be in vain.”



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Vivek Saxena


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