Restrictions Relaxed on David Hicks

Known as the Australian Taliban, David Hicks, like John Walker Lindh would be more properly identified as the Australian al Qaeda. Unlike Walker who was radicalized and went straight to Afghanistan, Hicks’s path to terrorism took him through Kosovo, Pakistan, and ultimately Usama bin Laden’s al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan.

Hicks worked a plea bargain deal to gain transfer to his home country, ultimately pleading guilty to “providing material support for terrorism.”

The only detainee of European descent, Hicks was initially despised in Australia. After several years of steady propaganda on his behalf by groups such as Fair Play for David, he achieved minor rock star status among many Australians. One suspects that anti-George Bush, anti-War in Iraq sentiment contributed heavily to Hicks improved image.

When the gag order on Hicks is lifted – probably within a few months – we ought to be on the lookout for a ghost-written kiss-and-tell book by Hicks complete with lurid tales of his detention at Guantanamo.

While there Hicks was initially admired by Muslim detainees and called “The Australian Cowboy.” He lost status among his fellow detainees when he appeared to be an apostate, requesting and receiving a Bible and renouncing his Islamic faith.

With Hicks, unlike Walker, it was never purely about religion. He seemed to be an anti-social misfit who drifted into terrorism for the adventure and the daring, much like young disaffected men are drawn to violent crime.

Read more about David Hicks in Inside Gitmo, and in the article updating his status, Australia Lifts Controls on Former Guantanamo Convict.

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