A suburban American woman who
called herself “Jihad Jane” has been charged with plotting terror
attacks in Europe and trying to recruit fighters on the internet.
Colleen LaRose, 46, of Pennsburg, a
town near Philadelphia, was allegedly so determined to help Muslim extremists
that she moved to Europe to try to kill a Swedish artist and agreed to marry a
co-conspirator so he could live there with her.
Using a second pseudonym of Fatima
Rose, she boasted on the internet of her readiness to help terrorists, seeking
to recruit men and women, and raise money for terror operations in the US,
Europe and Asia, according to her indictment.
Far from being discreet, she even
put a video on YouTube in which she said she was “desperate to do
something somehow to help” ease the suffering of Muslims.
US officials say the blond-haired,
green-eyed divorcee bragged in an email of her ability to go anywhere
undetected and that it was “an honour and great pleasure to die or kill
Although investigators do not
believe she had links with any organised terror group, they say she agreed in
March 2009 to emailed instructions from someone in South Asia that she kill an
The target is believed to have been
Lars Vilks, a cartoonist who incurred a $100,000 bounty on his head after he
depicted the Prophet Mohammed with the body of a dog.
Four men and three women were
arrested in Ireland on Tuesday over an alleged plot to kill Mr Vilks. Miss
LaRose could be jailed for life and fined $1 million if convicted.
Her former boyfriend and neighbours
have expressed disbelief at the charges against her, which include conspiring
to provide material support for terrorists and of stealing her ex-boyfriend’s
passport so it could be used by a co-conspirator.
However, some neighbours described
her as “weird”, adding that she talked continually to her cats. It
emerged Wednesday that she tried to commit suicide in 2005 while using
Prosecutors hailed the indictment
as highly significant. Michael Levy, a Justice Department official, said it
“shatters any lingering thought that we can spot a terrorist based on