ALEXANDRIA, Va. — John Walker Lindh, the American al Qaeda fighter captured last month in Afghanistan, has used a variety of names in his life but his lawyer said Thursday he now wants to be known as John Lindh.
Lindh, a 20-year-old Californian who has been charged with conspiring to kill Americans and supporting terrorist groups including Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, had been referred to since his December capture as John Walker.
But during his appearance in court on Thursday it became clear he wanted to be known as John Lindh.
When Magistrate Judge W. Curtis Sewell spoke to Lindh's lawyers and referred to him as "Mr. Walker", attorney James Brosnahan quickly interjected "Mr. Lindh," and the judge repeated back, "Mr. Lindh".
But prosecutors and a government affidavit referred to him as John Walker.
Asked later how Lindh would prefer to be addressed, a spokeswoman for Brosnahan said "It is John Lindh."
Lindh, who was been known as Suleyman al-Lindh, Suleyman al-Faris and Abdul Hamid in the past, had previously used his mother's surname. His mother Marilyn Walker and father Frank Lindh are divorced.