Colleen R. LaRose, a Pennsylvania woman also known as 'Jihad Jane,' has pleaded guilty to conspiring to murder a Swedish cartoonist, providing material support to terrorists, and other criminal charges.
LaRose, 47, faces possible life imprisonment and a $1 million fine after she pleaded guilty to all charges of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to kill in a foreign country, making false statements, and attempted identity theft.
The guilty plea was entered on Tuesday before U.S. District Court Judge Petrese B. Tucker in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
LaRose's co-defendant Jamie Paulin Ramirez is awaiting trial, which is scheduled to begin May 2, 2011.
According to the court documents, LaRose had conspired with others to find men online who are willing to wage violent jihad in South Asia and Europe. They also recruited women who had passports and were willing to travel to and around Europe in support of the violent jihad.
LaRose and her co-conspirators had also communicated with each other regarding their plans, which included martyring themselves, soliciting funds for terrorists, soliciting passports and avoiding travel restrictions (through the collection of passports and through marriage) in order to wage violent jihad.
The prosecutors also produced evidence in the court that LaRose had stolen another individual's U.S. passport and had transferred it in an effort to facilitate an act of international terrorism.
In addition, LaRose had received a direct order to kill a citizen and resident of Sweden, and to do so in a way that would frighten 'the whole Kufar [non-believer] world,' the Department of Justice said in a statement. The target was Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who had outraged Muslims by depicting the Prophet Muhammad's head on the body of a dog.
LaRose agreed to carry out her murder assignment and she and her co-conspirators discussed that her appearance and American citizenship would help her blend in while carrying out her plans. LaRose later traveled to Europe and tracked the intended target online in an effort to complete her task, it said.
The case was investigated by the FBI.
Assistant Attorney General for National Security David Kris said the guilty plea of LaRose, a suburban American woman who plotted with others to commit murder overseas and to provide material support to terrorists underscores the evolving nature of the threat we face.
About Colleen R. LaRose aka Jihad Jane
Colleen R. LaRose is an American citizen charged with terrorism-related crimes, including conspiracy to commit murder and providing material support to terrorists.
She was arrested in October 2009 after U.S. federal agents got wind of a plot to kill the Swedish cartoonist, Lars Vilks, who had angered Muslims with his depiction of Prophet Muhammad with the body of a dog in 2007.
LaRose used online pseudonyms such as 'Jihad Jane,' 'Fatima LaRose,' 'ExtremeSister4Life' and 'SisterOFTerror,' to recruit Islamic terrorists online. She also used multiple e-mail and YouTube accounts, other websites and various online user-names to publish violent jihadist literature and videos and to raise funds for militants.
In June 2008, she had posted a video on YouTube in which she said she was desperate to do something somehow to help the suffering Muslim people.
According to the indictment, LaRose had also told co-conspirators that her appearance as a blond white woman would allow her to avoid detection as an Islamic terrorist.
In March 2010, LaRose had pleaded not guilty to the charges and on May 3, 2010, the originally scheduled date for LaRose's trial was indefinitely postponed pending further discovery and a possible plea agreement.