''Jihad Jane'' pleads guilty to terror charges

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Yoshita Singh

Boston, Feb 2 (PTI) An American woman, who styledherself ''Jihad Jane'', today pleaded guilty to charges that sheworked online to support Islamic terrorists and moved overseasto plot killing of a Swedish artist who drew cartoons ofProphet Mohammad.

Blonde-haired, blue-eyed Colleen LaRose replied "yes"when she was asked by US District Court Judge Petrese Tuckerin a Philadelphia court if she was pleading guilty, afterdenying the charges last year.

LaRose, 47, changed her plea to guilty to all countsof a superseding indictment charging her with conspiracy toprovide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to kill ina foreign country, making false statements and attemptedidentity theft.

LaRose was arrested in October 2009 in a plot to killSwedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, whose cartoons had angered manyacross the Muslim world.

She faces a maximum potential sentence of life inprison and a one million dollar fine when sentenced on March3. She had pleaded not guilty to the charges last year.

"Today''s guilty plea, by a woman from suburban Americawho plotted with others to commit murder overseas and toprovide material support to terrorists, underscores theevolving nature of the threat we face," Assistant AttorneyGeneral for National Security David Kris said.

LaRose''s case, which came to light months afterPakistani-American David Coleman Headley was charged withplotting terrorist attacks in India and Denmark, was seen as adisturbing new development of home-grown terrorism.

Like Headley, La Rose''s American citizenship andappearance made it easy for her to travel in and out of thecountry undetected.

A former resident of Pennsylvania, LaRose was chargedby indictment in March 2010.

A superseding indictment was filed in April 2010,adding co-defendant Jamie Paulin Ramirez, a US citizen andformer resident of Colorado.

Ramirez is awaiting trial which is scheduled to beginMay 2, 2011.

According to documents filed with the court, LaRoseand her co-conspirators recruited men and women on theInternet to wage violent jihad in South Asia and Europe.

She recruited women who had passports and the abilityto travel to and around Europe in support of violent jihad,the documents added.

Prosecutors said LaRose "worked obsessively on hercomputer to communicate with, recruit and incite otherjihadists." .

LaRose and her co-conspirators communicated on the internet with each other regarding their plans, which includedmartyring themselves, soliciting funds for terrorists,soliciting passports and avoiding travel restrictions.

She also stole her boyfriend''s US passport andtransferred it in an effort to facilitate an act ofinternational terrorism.

In e-mails recovered by the FBI, LaRose had alsoagreed to marry an online contact from South Asia so he couldmove to Europe.

In addition, LaRose also received a direct order tokill the Sweden cartoonist in a way that would frighten "thewhole Kufar (non-believer) world."

LaRose had allegedly bragged in one email that herappearance allowed her to go anywhere undetected, saying itwas "an honor and great pleasure to die or kill for" jihad.

She had posted a comment on YouTube in 2008 that shewas "desperate to do something somehow to help" the sufferingMuslim people.

LaRose travelled to Europe in 2009 where she plannedto train with jihadists and find and kill the Swedishcartoonist Lars Vilks.

She used aliases including ''JihadJane'',''ExtremeSister4Life'' and ''SisterOfTerror'' on the internet.

LaRose has a history of broken marriages and pettycrime.

She lived with her boyfriend Kurt Gorman and hisfather in Pennsburg, near Philadelphia.

Gorman had said he sensed nothing amiss in theirfive-year relationship.

She later swiped Gorman''s passport and planned togive it to a co-conspirator, the indictment said.

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