By Arun Kumar
Washington, March 10 (IANS) A middle-aged American woman, nicknamed "Jihad Jane", has been charged with using e-mail, YouTube videos, phony travel documents and a burning desire to kill "or die trying," to help terrorists in South Asia and Europe.
Three images of Colleen LaRose, including a police mugshot (left). LaRose called herself Jihad Jane and has been indicted for aiding terrorists.
Colleen LaRose, 46, who also went by the name of "Fatima LaRose," has also been charged with helping to recruit a network for suicide attacks and other terrorist strikes to wage violent jihad, according to the indictment against her unsealed in Philadelphia Tuesday.
With blond hair and green eyes, "Jihad Jane," was so intent on waging jihad, authorities said, that she travelled to Sweden to kill an artist in a way that would frighten "the whole Kufar [nonbeliever] world."
She bragged that she could go anywhere undetected, allegedly boasting in one e-mail that it was "an honour & great pleasure to die or kill for" jihad."Only death will stop me here that I am so close to the target!" she boasted, according to the Los Angeles Times.
LaRose was arrested Oct 15 in Philadelphia. No arraignment date has been set for LaRose, who is being held at the Federal Detention Centre in Philadelphia, according to the US Attorney's Office.
LaRose and five unindicted co-conspirators recruited men on the Internet "to wage violent jihad in South Asia and Europe, and recruited women on the Internet who had passports and the ability to travel to and around Europe in support of violent jihad," according to a Justice Department statement.
If convicted, LaRose faces a possible life prison sentence and a $1 million fine, the statement said.
The conspiracy began in June 2008, when LaRose posted a comment on YouTube under the username JihadJane saying she is "desperate to do something somehow to help" Muslims. By December of that year, she was allegedly e-mailing one of the conspirators of her desire to become a "shahed," or martyr.
A second conspirator e-mailed her in January 2009 about a similar commitment for Allah. "I tried twice but I wasn't successful . . . [but] I will . . . try until Allah will m[a]ke it easy for me," the conspirator told LaRose.
By February 2009, LaRose was reportedly telling one of the conspirators that her physical appearance would allow her to "blend in with many people," which "may be a way to achieve what is in my heart."
In March, a third conspirator in Asia invited LaRose to "come here and get the training" so that they can "deal in bombs and explosives effecti(v)ely." The conspirator told LaRose that she was special because she could "get access to many places" because of her nationality.
One conspirator asked LaRose: "Marry me to get me inside Europe." She reportedly agreed.
She also e-mailed the Swedish Embassy, asking for instructions on acquiring permanent residency there. As one collaborator told her: "Go to Sweden . . . find location (of an unidentified Swedish resident) . . . and kill him . . . that is what I say to u."
LaRose allegedly agreed. "I will make this my goal till I achieve it or die trying," she e-mailed back. "I agree that it is good I blend in."
The indictment said LaRose also was involved in soliciting "urgent funds for sisters" overseas.