Colleen R. LaRose, a suburban Pennsylvania woman, was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges alleging that she conspired to engage in terrorist acts abroad, help terrorists, lied to federal agents, and tried to steal the identity of a U.S. man by taking his passport so that violent jihadists overseas could use it. The grand jury indictment accuses LaRose of agreeing to travel to Sweden to find a certain Swedish resident "and kill him."
Given today's reported arrest of seven people in Ireland today on conspiracy charges to murder Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, it appears that U.S. and European law enforcement authorities were working together to apprehend some of LaRose's co-conspirators in the case while she has remained in federal custody during the last five months.
One day later LaRose allegedly told the co-conspirator that she would seek residency status in a European country in order to marry the co-conspirator (who was a resident of South Asia) to fulfill his invitation to "marry me and get me inside [E]urope."
You can read the 'Jihad Jane' indictment here:
According to court records, LaRose was arrested by the FBI on Oct. 16, 2009:
Nearly all court records filed in the case following her arrest, however, have remained under seal, including a documents related to her October 20, 2009 detention hearing. It appears that she has remained in federal custody since her arrest..
Today's announcement of LaRose' indictment appears connected to the arrest in Europe of suspects allegedly connected to a terror plot to kill Valks in Sweden appears.
In 2007 a Swedish newspaper published a cartoon by Vilks depicting the Muslim Prophet Muhammad as a dog, prompting protests, followed by multiple death threats against the cartoonist.
- Pennsylvania Woman Indicted in Plot to Recruit Violent Jihadist Fighters and to Commit Murder Overseas, Press Release, U.S. Dept. of Justice (Mar. 9, 2010)
- Irish police foil plot to kill Swedish cartoonist, The Local (Sweden - Mar. 10, 2010)
- Terrorism-Related Cases, FindLaw
- Michael Levy, U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Penn., Federal Prosecutor's Office
- Defender Assocation of Philadelphia, Defense Counsel for LaRose
- Qaeda urges cartoonist death, Reuters (Sept. 15, 2007)