UK & World News

  • 6 January 2014, 18:43

'Jihad Jane' Jailed For 10 Years

A Pennsylvania woman who called herself Jihad Jane has been sentenced to 10 years for her role in a terror plot against a Swedish artist.

Colleen LaRose, 50, faced a potential life term, but the judge agreed to a reduced sentence due to her extensive co-operation with investigators.

Prosecutors sought decades in prison, fearing she remains dangerous.

LaRose called herself Jihad Jane online and plotted to kill Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilk, whose work had offended Muslims.

Investigators said she participated in the 2009 conspiracy to target Mr Vilks over his series of drawings depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad as a dog.

Muslim extremists in Iraq had offered a $100,000 (£61,000) reward for anyone who killed Mr Vilks, who was never attacked.

LaRose told the judge she became obsessed with jihad, saying she was "in a trance" and thought about it from morning to night.

The Justice Department said Ali Charaf Damache, who was living in Ireland, recruited LaRose and another US woman, Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, via jihadist websites.

Paulin-Ramirez and another co-defendant, Maryland teen Mohammad Hassan Khalid, are scheduled to be sentenced later this week.

LaRose returned to Philadelphia in 2009 to surrender, becoming one of a few women ever charged in the US with terrorist activities.

Her arrest was kept secret and the indictment unsealed only after Paulin-Ramirez and the six others were rounded up in Ireland months later.

LaRose could be released from prison in a little over four years, given the four years-plus she has already served and the potential for time off for good behaviour.

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