John Walker Lindh walked out of prison last month and returned to American life, having served 17 years for providing support to the Taliban.
But another American who pleaded guilty in a high-profile terrorism case after the Sept. 11 attacks is facing a tougher path to freedom.
Critics say the current move to revoke the al-Qaida sleeper agent’s American citizenship highlights the limited progress the U.S. has made in the past two decades in prison-based deradicalization efforts. They also say it could create a dangerous new front in how the legal system treats U.S. citizens convicted of terrorism offenses.
“It’s part and parcel of the rest of the immigration policy which is just to demonize people from other countries,” said Joshua Dratel, a Manhattan defense attorney. “It’s an aggressive move.”
In the absence of a life sentence or capital punishment, native-born Americans like Lindh seem all but certain to walk the streets in the U.S. again after serving their sentences, even if they’re unrepentant. But naturalized citizens like the Pakistani-born Faris are at risk of being deported over their allegiance to al-Qaida.Source: Politico