The woman Colleen R LaRose, 50, calls herself 'Jihad Jane'. She is one among the very few women in America who have been convicted for terrorist activities.
At Monday's hearing, La-Rose apologized for blindly following instructions of her handlers. "I was in a trance and I couldn't see anything else," she said. LaRose wasn't given a life sentence as she has given authorities significant help in other terrorism cases since her 2009 arrest, prosecutors said.
LaRose's lawyers said she was a "lonely and isolated" woman who sought excitement by joining the jihadist cause. They said that she was flattered to get an assignment to kill the cartoonist,a foe of Islam.
She converted to Islam online and has maintained her faith, was given credit for the four years she has already served. She pleaded guilty to following orders in 2009 from alleged Al-Qaida operatives.
LaRose travelled to Europe in 2009 intending to participate in a militant plot to shoot artist Lars Vilks in the chest six times. But soon gave up and returned to Philadelphia, where she was arrested.
Assistant US attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams argued that despite her extensive cooperation, she still was a danger to society. He had sought "decades behind bars" for LaRose.