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Gov't doesn't fight order letting American Taliban fighter Lindh pray daily with other inmates

The deadline has expired for the government to challenge a ruling allowing American Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh and fellow Muslim inmates at his a tightly controlled Indiana prison unit to hold daily group prayers.

The government took no action before Tuesday's deadline expired and group prayers were supposed to begin Wednesday under the U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson's ruling.

Neither the U.S. attorney in Indianapolis nor the American Civil Liberties Union's Indiana chapter had immediate comment.

Magnus-Stinson ruled Jan. 11 that barring Lindh and his fellow Muslims from engaging in daily group ritual prayer at the federal prison at Terre Haute, Ind., violates a 1993 law that bans the government from curtailing religious speech without showing a compelling interest.

She said her ruling didn't prohibit less restrictive security measures.

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