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Friday, February 18, 2011

Pennsylvania woman pleads guilty to terrorism charges
Jaclyn Belczyk at 1:12 PM ET

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[JURIST] A Pennsylvania woman pleaded guilty [press release, PDF] Tuesday to terrorism charges for plotting to support violent jihad. Colleeen LaRose, also known as "Jihad Jane," pleaded guilty to all charges in the superseding indictment [text, PDF], including conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to kill in a foreign country, making false statements and attempted identity theft. LaRose was originally indicted in March, accused of recruiting men on the Internet to wage violent jihad in South Asia and Europe and plotting to kill a Swedish cartoonist who depicted the Prophet Muhammad with the body of dog. After the hearing, FBI Special Agent-in-Charge George Venizelos said:
The guilty plea in this case today demonstrates our need to remain vigilant to the continuing and evolving threats that we face in addressing terrorism. Our Joint Terrorism Task Forces and our partners in the law enforcement and intelligence communities need to, more than ever, stay creative in our approaches to preventing acts of terrorism.
LaRose faces possible life in prison and a $1 million fine at sentencing, which has not yet been scheduled.

LaRose is the latest to plead guilty in a line of so-called "home grown terrorists." Last year, US citizen and Chicago resident David Headley pleaded guilty [JURIST report] to terrorism charges, including charges related to the 2008 Mumbai terror attack [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] and an alleged plot against the Danish creator and publishers of other controversial cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. Also in 2010, naturlized US citizen Najibullah Zazi pleaded guilty to charges of of conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction in the US for plotting to detonate an explosive in the New York City subway system.

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