TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Prison term sought for Jihad Jane

Daily Photo Galleries

By Reuters
Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, 9:18 p.m.
 

WASHINGTON — The Pennsylvania woman who called herself Jihad Jane and a teenage accomplice from Maryland provided “very significant” assistance to U.S. authorities in several terrorism investigations but still remain threats to the public, prosecutors say in new court filings.

Prosecutors said Colleen LaRose, 50, should be sentenced to decades in prison for her role in a failed 2009 plot to kill Lars Vilks, a Swedish artist who offended many Muslims by drawing the Prophet Mohammed on the head of a dog.

After years of delay, the American-born LaRose is expected to be sentenced on Monday in Philadelphia. A similar hearing for Mohammad Hassan Khalid, the youngest person ever charged with terrorism in the United States, is set for Tuesday.

Guidelines call for LaRose to receive a life sentence and for Khalid, who is now 20, to receive 15 years. Given their cooperation, prosecutors asked the judge to sentence LaRose to “decades behind bars” and Khalid to “less than 10 years.”

In a presentence filing this week, authorities reiterated what they declared when LaRose's arrest was made public in 2010 — that her gender, blond hair, Texas twang and green eyes make her case significant because she does not fit the stereotype of an Islamic terrorist.

“News of LaRose's arrest spread shock waves throughout the West, as people recognized that the face of the terrorism threat had changed forever,” prosecutors Jennifer Arbittier Williams and Matthew Blue wrote. “The world is watching, and this sentencing presents an important opportunity to send a strong message to other lonely, vulnerable people who might be enticed by online extremists promising fame and honor.”

A 2012 Reuters investigative report described LaRose's troubled life before she converted to Islam: childhood rapes by her biological father, teenage prostitution, heavy drug abuse and failed marriages. LaRose said her father's sexual assaults, confirmed by confidential court records, began in second grade.

“I survived a lot of things that should have rightfully killed me,” LaRose said in an exclusive interview from jail in 2012.

LaRose's story has helped prosecutors and FBI agents better understand the roots of homegrown extremism, officials said.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Glenn Beck takes on Common Core
  2. Death penalty foes decry bungled execution
  3. Biden pushes economic plan
  4. Obama wants to end U.S. companies skirting tax laws by merging with overseas entities
  5. Poverty programs would be merged
  6. White House, senators close on bill to end NSA spying
  7. Scientists: Earth in midst of 6th ‘mass extinction’
  8. Social Security’s $300M IT project doesn’t work
  9. After 40 years, Wyo. fossil trove to get another look
  10. House, Senate chairs offer competing VA bills
  11. Outcry saves rare albino-mix redwood in Calif.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.