"Jihad Jane" (File photo)
PHILADELPHIA (February 1, 2011)—Former Texas resident Colleen LaRose, 47, who called herself "Jihad Jane" online, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Philadelphia to charges stemming from her role in a global terror plot.
Federal prosecutors say LaRose had agreed to kill a Swedish cartoonist who had offended Muslims and say the suburban Philadelphia woman helped foreign terrorist suspects intent on starting a holy war in Europe and South Asia.
Born in Michigan, LaRose moved to Texas as a girl and had married twice by the time she was 24.
Her first marriage was at 16, to a man who was twice her age in Tarrant County.
She and co-defendant Jamie Paulin-Ramirez of Leadville, Colo., are the rare U.S. women charged with terrorism.
Paulin-Ramirez has pleaded not guilty since she was arrested in Ireland with other terrorist suspects in March.
An indictment in March 2010 says LaRose used the Internet to recruit jihadist fighters and to help terrorists overseas, and that she even agreed to move to Europe to try to kill the cartoonist who had depicted Mohammed with the body of a dog.
According to the indictment, she wrote to a co-conspirator last year that because of her blond hair and blue eyes, she would be able to "blend in with many people" in Sweden.
When she lived in Texas, LaRose was arrested twice on public intoxication charges in Ferris about 20 miles south of Dallas, Ferris Police Investigator Sam Love said.
Love said LaRose was arrested in February 2001 and again in April 2002.
In each case, Love said, she paid her fines in city court.