SAN RAFAEL, Calif., Dec. 5, 2001 (AP)--The parents of the 20-year-old man captured alongside Taliban fighters in Afghanistan has hired an attorney experienced in extradition matters to defend their 'brainwashed' son.

Frank Lindh, said his son, John Phillip Walker Lindh, must not have been thinking straight when he told a reporter he supported the Sept. 11 attacks on America. He and his ex-wife, Marilyn Walker, defended the young Muslim convert and urged that no charges be filed against him until they could speak with officials in the U.S. government.

Walker gave his name as Abdul Hamid after being taken into custody by U.S. forces following a bloody prison uprising in Mazar-e-Sharif. His parents have described him as an introvert and a pacifist and said he must have been ``brainwashed'' into fighting with the Taliban.

Lindh, a corporate attorney, even suggested his son should study Islam in the Middle East rather than return to the United States.

``Maybe the best thing would be for John to continue his studies in Saudi Arabia,'' Lindh told the San Francisco Chronicle. ``I'm in uncharted waters here, and I don't know what I'm going to do. Maybe the (United States) government will fly us to visit.''

On Tuesday, Lindh and Walker hired San Francisco attorney James Brosnahan to defend their son.

In 1998, Brosnahan convinced a U.S. court to reverse an extradition order for an Irish national convicted of murder. He argued the man had been wrongfully convicted and cited a treaty between the United States and Britain that prohibits extraditing people facing persecution for their beliefs.

``We have asked our government for safe passage for John's parents and (for) me to visit with John as soon as possible,'' Brosnahan said in a written statement issued late Tuesday. ``We also asked that no charges be filed against John until we have had an opportunity to speak with the United States government.''

Walker's parents say their son converted to Islam when he was 16, studies the Quran devoutly and is a pacifist at heart. They also say they have received hate mail.

Calls placed Wednesday to Lindh, the San Francisco FBI office and Brosnahan's office were not immediately returned.

more from beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad