The U.S. military is transferring the young American captured fighting with Afghanistan's Taleban back to the United States, where he faces charges of conspiring to kill Americans.
Pentagon officials say the 20-year-old Californian could be back in the United States as early as Wednesday. John Walker Lindh has now been transferred from a U.S. warship in the Arabian Sea back to Afghanistan where he was captured last November. From there, he will be put on a U.S. military transport plane for the long flight back to the United States.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says he will then be handed over to the Justice Department pending trial. "He will go where they want him," he explained. "He will not go to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."
Even though some 150 other captured al-Qaida and Taleban war captives are currently being held there, the defense secretary denies the captured American is receiving any special treatment.
The charges against John Walker Lindh include conspiring to kill Americans and providing support to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist network. Prosecutors decided against the more serious charge of treason, which is punishable by death, but he could still face life in prison if convicted.