An American Taliban In Ireland


These photos show John Walker Lindh at age 17, touring Ireland with his [Irish-American] father Frank. It was 1998 on the week that the Good Friday Agreement was passed. By that time John was accustomed to wearing traditional Islamic garb and despite the unusual appearance, Frank said he found Irish people to be open and accepting.
Three months after visiting Ireland, John headed for the Yemeni capital Sana’a. He learned Arabic and began reading the original text of the Koran, committing large passages to memory and immersing himself in Islamic culture. The following spring he wrote to say he was moving to the mountains [of Pakistan] and for several months his concerned parents heard nothing from him.

What he had not told them in his letter was that he intended to cross the Khyber Pass into Afghanistan to volunteer for the Afghan army.

John Walker Lindh (Eoin Reynolds, Duckspeak)

25 thoughts on “An American Taliban In Ireland

  1. Sido

    I read the story somewhere. He coped for twenty years in jail, now his dad is trying to get him declared Irish under the Granny rule. So that the Irish can then appeal for their citizen to be freed.
    There are many reasons why I don’t like this idea.
    1) Why should we have to argue for the release of newly created citizens under the Granny Rule.
    2) I don’t like Taliban and that whole Muslim extremist thing.
    You can accuse me of racism if you like. But I can’t be doing with people who expect women to walk around in Burquas
    or want to ban music on the radio.

      1. Holly

        Yes but there are some bottom feeders who use it as a basis for racism towards a country or a culture so it is sometimes seen as a contributing “justification” for racism. Which it should never be.

        I just hate all murdering scumbags regardless of race or creed. Keeps it simple.

    1. 75P mug of Belwey's white

      I thought of that as well, was it not a few years and a bit further down the bridge (towards the photographer) before that great public gets his due praise?

    2. 75P mug of Belwey's white

      Never ever forget the sacrifices Fr. Pat Noise made to keep things running in Dublin City.

  2. Daftboy

    Frankly the most ridiculous part of this is the state of the busses that were on the road in Donegal in 1998!

  3. 75P mug of Belwey's white

    Amazing how your mind bleaches things out so fully. I got a little tingle at the O’Connell Street photo, showing the trees more or less up to the bridge.. the street looks rather sedate and serene, otherworldly.

    Give it a few short years and someone with a kerb and cobblestone and chrome fittings (chrome ffs!) got promoted and went euro bananas..

  4. John S

    If he returned to live in Ireland, I don’t think anyone would really mind or care. If you read the full article he didn’t go over there to fight the western world and America. He seemed to be in the wrong place at the worst time imaginable. It’s not like he’s Larry Murphy!

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