According to the father of al-Qaeda terrorist Richard Reid, the “shoe bomber” who attempted to blow up a plane bound for the United States from Britain, his son was once “gentle and caring,” reports the BBC. But then Reid’s father says his son was “brainwashed” by Muslim extremists to do things “not by our family beliefs.”

However, the father of John Walker Lindh, the “American Taliban,” apparently doesn’t see his son as “brainwashed,” despite his strange transformation from a California child of affluence to an Afghan “freedom fighter.”

Frank Lindh instead seems to think that his son found his “inner Muslim.” Mrs. Lindh explains, “As a parent, you want your kids to follow their heart,” reports Time Magazine.

Frank Lindh takes the stance of almost an apologist. He concludes, “John went (into Afghanistan) to help the mujahedin, as he understood the people Ronald Reagan called the ‘freedom fighters.'”

Mrs. Lindh explains, “When kids get a certain age, you let them go. You wish them well, and you help them, and you support, and you never stop loving them, but you let them explore the world and find themselves.”

The Lindhs not only let their son go, they paid $6,000 for him to be “brainwashed” at an Islamic school in Yemen and quite literally were his “support” financially to “explore the world” of radical Islam.

Should the Lindhs have paid closer attention to their vulnerable son? Did their permissiveness and money enable John Walker Lindh to ultimately become an “American Taliban”?

John Walker Lindh apologized and wept when he was recently sentenced to twenty years in prison. Now the Lindhs will only be a part of their son’s life through scheduled visits observed by guards.

Richard Reid laughed when he pled guilty in a Boston court and boasted of his commitment to Osama bin Laden. His father expects him to die in prison.

There is little sympathy for “brainwashed” Islamic extremists in the United States. The hijackers who murdered more than 3,000 people on September 11th ended that.

As other terrorists and extremists are arrested, more sad stoies will likely emerge of children lost to “brainwashed” fanaticism. But hopefully these fanatics will be stopped before murdering the members of other families.

Richard Reid’s father said, “I am just grateful that he did not succeed. There were 196 other souls on that plane other than my son.”


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