John Walker Lindh, the American accused of fighting alongside the Taleban, has been formally indicted on 10 charges of conspiring to kill fellow Americans. The US is a country of laws, not of men…
Walker Lindh only recognised the law of brute forceUS Attorney General John Ashcroft The indictment, which was handed down by a grand jury in eastern Virginia, formalised the six charges filed against him last month and added four more. The 10-count charge sheet represents the next step in the case against the 20-year-old Californian Muslim. He faces multiple life sentences if convicted. Asked at a press conference whether the government would ask the grand jury to charge Mr Walker with treason, US Attorney Paul J McNulty said: “As far as other charges, we have the opportunity or right to have a superseding indictment if the evidence justifies that.
” ‘Trained terrorist’ Announcing the indictment at the US Justice Department, Attorney General John Ashcroft said it described Mr Walker as “an al-Qaeda-trained terrorist who conspired with the Taleban to kill his fellow citizens.” He said the indictment was based in part on voluntary statements made Mr Walker. The new charges are: Conspiracy to contribute services to al-QaedaContributing services to the networkConspiracy to supply services to the TalebanUsing and carrying firearms and destructive devices during crimes of violenceMr Walker had already been charged with: Conspiracy to murder US citizens or US nationalsTwo counts of conspiracy to provide material support and resources to designated foreign terrorist organisationsTwo counts of providing material support and resources to terrorist organisationsSupplying services to the Taleban Mr Ashcroft said the indictment presented a timeline of Mr Walker’s involvement with terrorism. The charge sheet said that in early summer 2001, Mr Walker was in an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan. Later, as the network made their alleged preparation for the attacks of 11 September, Mr Walker was “forging ever deeper bonds” with al-Qaeda and met America’s foremost suspect, Osama Bin Laden, Mr Ashcroft said.
Mr Ashcroft said that on the day of 11 September, Mr Walker was fighting alongside the Taleban in Afghanistan, and in the weeks after the attack he remained with his fighting camp, despite knowing about the suicide attacks and being aware that additional attacks were planned. Walker’s father is standing by his sonAs the US launched its war against terrorism in Afghanistan, Mr Walker remained “shoulder to shoulder” with the Taleban, Mr Ashcroft reported. “The US is a country of laws, not of men..
. Walker Lindh only recognised the law of brute force”, the US attorney-general said. He added that Mr Walker had, by his own statements, been treated very well. On Wednesday, Judge W Curtis Sewell must decide whether Mr Walker, who was captured in Afghanistan and sent back to the United States to face the charges, should be imprisoned while awaiting trial.