, is the tale of Colleen LaRose, a 46 year old white woman from Pennsylvania who converted to Islam and became a jihadist. In her Internet identity of JihadJane, and without the knowledge of her live-in boyfriend, she volunteered for a martyrdom operation, and was enlisted to assassinate a Swedish cartoonist who had insulted Muhammad.
JihadJane & her mad scheme to ‘frighten the world’
By ANDY SOLTIS
March 11, 2010
Memo to would-be terrorists: Don’t list Osama bin Laden as your hero on your MySpace page.
That was the first blunder on the pothole-filled road to hoped-for martyrdom by Colleen LaRose, a 46-year-old Pennsylvania divorcee also known as “JihadJane.”
She used that name to contact at least five terrorists on three continents in a plot to murder a Swedish cartoonist whose crime was poking fun at the Prophet Mohammed.
Federal investigators said the doomed conspiracy began on June 20, 2008, when LaRose, a 5-foot-2 blonde, posted a video on YouTube and added that she was “desperate to do something somehow to help” ease the suffering of Muslims.
LaRose left damning clues on her MySpace page.
“I have recently (a couple months) reverted to Islam and I can safely say that of all the things I have ever done in my lifetime, becoming Muslim is what I am proudest of,” she wrote.
But she wanted to be more than religiously observant, as her listing of her heroes indicated: “Sheikh OBL”—bin Laden—and “the brothers in jihad.”
The plot got going in earnest on Dec. 8, 2008, when she received an e-mail from an admirer in South Asia, identified by the feds only as unindicted co-conspirator number one or CC#1.
He expressed a desire to become a “shaheed,” or martyr. JihadJane replied the next day that she, too, wanted to die in a holy war, according to a federal indictment.
Soon, LaRose, who had moved from Texas in 2004 and was unemployed, was receiving updates from around the world at her second-floor apartment in Pennsburg, a Philadelphia suburb.
On Jan. 2, a Western European resident told her “I tried twice” to become a martyr “but I wasn’t successful.” He vowed to try until Allah made “it easy for me.”
JihadJane replied that day that she also wanted to become a martyr. On Feb. 20, she told him she had certain assets—dirty blond hair and green eyes—that would allow her to “blend in with many people” and help her “achieve what is in my heart.”
Her live-in boyfriend of five years, Kurt Gorman, knew nothing of LaRose’s secret life.
“She never talked about international events, about Muslims, anything,” he told the Philadelphia Daily News. He said she was “a good-hearted person” who took his ailing father to the doctor.
By March 6, 2009, LaRose was corresponding with another terrorist, CC#3 from South Asia, who said he knew all about bombs and wanted her to invite another male fighter “to come here and get the training.”
CC#3 added that as an American, JihadJane “can get access to many places,” so she should “marry me to get me inside Europe.” She immediately agreed and began making plans to go to Sweden.
Why Sweden? Because CC#3 wanted her to murder Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who had a $100,000 price on his head, courtesy of al Qaeda, because he had drawn a picture of Mohammed that made him look like a dog.
She should kill Vilks “in a way that the whole kufar [non-believer] world would get frightened,” CC#3 told her.
LaRose allegedly accepted the assignment as eagerly as his bizarre marriage proposal, saying “I will make this my goal or die trying.” She also got in contact with an unnamed US-based conspirator to raise money for the holy mission, authorities say.
Incredibly, the plotters went ahead even though the FBI tipped its hand by interviewing LaRose on July 17, 2009. She told agents she wasn’t JihadJane, hadn’t posted on a terrorist Web site and hadn’t solicited money for terror.
On Aug. 22, Gorman’s father was buried, and that appeared to be a pivotal event for LaRose. The next day, she stole Gorman’s passport, removed her computer hard drive and flew to Europe to join the “brothers,” authorities say. Over the next few weeks she managed to join Vilks’ artists’ enclave, the feds say.
On Sept. 28, CC#1 signaled that the plotters were getting close. “The brothers are ready,” he wrote, and asked her to send money to Somalia, for reasons that have yet to be explained.
Two days later, she wrote CC#3 that she considered it a “great pleasure to kill and die” for him, adding that only death would stop her now that she was “so close to the target!”
But that was as close as she got. Vilks, who had fortified his home with electrified barbed wire, was apparently never at risk from the plotters he ridiculed as “low-tech.”
On Oct. 15, LaRose returned to the United States and was promptly arrested at Philadelphia International Airport. She’s been held quietly in a federal detention center ever since.
Gorman learned about JihadJane at about the same time as the rest of the world: on Tuesday, when her indictment was unsealed.
It happened as investigators in Ireland dropped the other shoe. They announced they had arrested seven people involved in the plot: two Algerians, two Libyans, a Palestinian, a Croatian and an American woman married to one of the Algerian suspects.
“It’s very strange,” Gorman said of JihadJane’s story. “I still can’t believe it.”
With Post Wire Services
[end of Post article]
Daniel S. writes:
Michael S. writes: