American jehadi fought India in Kashmir
3 December 2001
The Times of India
CHIDANAND RAJGHATTA TIMES NEWS NETWORK
WASHINGTON: A 20-year old white American jehadi captured by the Northern Alliance during the Taliban jail mutiny in Mazar-e-Sharif last week not only fought US troops in Afghanistan but also Indian forces in Kashmir, according to reports from the battlefront. Washington DC born John Walker, who goes by the Muslim name Abdul Hamid, was literally flushed out of an underground cellar at the Qala Jangi fort- prison complex by Northern alliance, one of the 86 survivors of a bloody riot that took the life of CIA agent Mike Spann. In subsequent interviews to the western media, Walker said he was captivated by Islam, had converted to Islam at age 16, and later journeyed to Pakistan to study the Quran.''In my travels, I came in contact with some of the original teachers of the leaders of the Taliban movement,'' he told Newsweek magazine, which first reported the story on its website. ''The ideas of the Taliban occupied my mind a lot.'' Six months ago, he entered Afghanistan ''to help the Islamic government'' because ''the Taliban are the only government that actually provides Islamic law''. He also disclosed that he received combat training at a camp in Northern Afghanistan, fought alongside Pakistanis in Kashmir and then returned to fight recently with the Taliban at Kunduz, Afghanistan.The story has shocked the American establishment. ''Abdul Hamid is tall, thin and barefoot in a filthy black tunic. A prisoner of the Northern Alliance, he sits with his elbows bound behind his back with a strip of cloth, his right leg and left foot bandaged for gunshot wounds. He is not a naturalized citizen or disaffected Arab-American youth rebelling against Western culture. He is a white, educated-sounding, apparently middle-class American,'' Newsweek reported.When asked by the magazine if he supported the September 11 attacks, he hesitated and said, ''That requires a pretty long and complicated explanation. I haven''t eaten for two or three days, and my mind is not really in shape to give you a coherent answer.'' When pressed, he said, ''Yes, I supported it.'' In a CNN interview, he described himself as a ''jehadi''. Walker is now in the custody of US forces and could be brought back here for a trial. His parents, who are separated, have described him as a good boy who has been misguided and brainwashed. His mother Marilyn Walker, who has dabbled in Buddhism, said he was ''sweet, shy, kid,'' who had wanted to work with poor people and perhaps go into medicine.