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‘American Taliban’ John Walker Lindh to be released from prison Thursday

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John Walker Lindh, the American captured in 2001 fighting for the Taliban, is to be released early from federal prison on Thursday as some U.S. lawmakers fear he remains a security risk.

Lindh, photographed as a wild-eyed, bearded 20-year-old at his Afghanistan capture, will leave a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana on probation after serving 17 years of a 20-year sentence, according to a prison official.

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Now 38, Lindh is among dozens of prisoners set to be released over the next few years after being captured in Iraq and Afghanistan by U.S. forces and convicted of terrorism-related crimes following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

His release brought objections from elected officials who asked why Lindh was being freed early and what training parole officers had to spot radicalization and recidivism among former jihadists.

Leaked U.S. government documents published by Foreign Policy magazine show the federal government as recently as 2016 described Lindh as holding “extremist views.”

“What is the current interagency policy, strategy, and process for ensuring that terrorist/extremist offenders successfully reintegrate into society?” asked U.S. Senators Richard Shelby and Margaret Hassan in a letter to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

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Lindh’s parents Marilyn Walker and Frank Lindh did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Lindh’s lawyer Bill Cummings declined to comment.

Melissa Kimberley, a spokeswoman for the Terre Haute prison in Indiana, could not confirm details of Lindh’s release other than it would be on Thursday.

U.S.-born Lindh converted from Catholicism to Islam as a teenager. At his 2002 sentencing he said he traveled to Yemen to learn Arabic and then to Pakistan to study Islam. He said he volunteered as a Taliban soldier to help fellow Muslims in their struggle or “jihad.” He said he had no intention “to fight against America” and never understood jihad to mean anti-Americanism.

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Lindh told the court he condemned “terrorism on every level” and attacks by al-Qaeda leader Osama bin-Laden were “completely against Islam.”

But a January 2017 report by the U.S. government’s National Counterterroism Center, published by Foreign Policy, said that as of May 2016, Lindh “continued to advocate for global jihad and to write and translate violent extremist texts.”

NBC said Lindh wrote a letter to its Los Angeles station KNBC in 2015 expressing support for ISIS, saying the radical Islamist group was fulfilling “a religious obligation to establish a caliphate through armed struggle.”

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Trump’s lead counsel disavows Mulvaney’s admission the president engaged in Ukraine quid pro quo

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On Thursday, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney stunned reporters by effectively admitting President Donald Trump demanded a quid pro quo from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for foreign aid appropriated by Congress.

According to CNN's Jim Acosta, Mulvaney's speech was so out of left field that the president's chief attorney immediately disavowed it.

"Mulvaney's performance blindsided the president's outside legal team, as the president's lead attorney, Jay Sekulow, said on the record to CNN, the legal team was not involved in the acting chief of staff's press briefing," said White House correspondent Jim Acosta. "That is pretty telling when the chief counselor to the president is saying, we did not have anything to do with this."

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America is under attack from Donald Trump: Retired Special Operations Admiral McRaven

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Admiral William McRaven penned a shocking op-ed in The New York Times Thursday declaring that the United States is clearly under attack by our own president.

The former commander of US Special Operations Command explained that if an enemy wants to destroy their other side, they do so from "within and without." He meant that Trump is trying to undermine law enforcement, the Department of Justice, the State Department as well as a series of other American institutions.

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Mick Mulvaney just admitted to a ‘textbook definition of an impeachable offense’: Obama lawyer

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In a press conference this Thursday, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney undermined a key White House defense relating to the Ukraine scandal, admitting that there was indeed a quid pro quo discussed on President Trump's infamous July 25 phone call with Ukraine's president.

“The look back to what happened in 2016, certainly, was part of the things that he was worried about in corruption with that nation, and that is absolutely appropriate,” Mulvaney told ABC's Jonathan Karl. “We do it all the time with foreign policy.”

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