An American-born woman who calls herself "Jihad Jane" has been sentenced to 10 years in prison by a U.S. court for her involvement in a plot to kill a Swedish artist who had offended Muslims.
Colleen R. LaRose of Philadelphia (in the eastern U.S. state of Pennsylvania), who converted to Islam online, had pled guilty to following orders in 2009 from alleged al-Qaida operatives. She could have received a life sentence, but prosecutors say she has given authorities significant help in other terrorism cases since her arrest.
At Monday's sentencing hearing, LaRose apologized for "blindly" following the instructions of her handlers.
LaRose became involved in a Muslim online community and traveled to Ireland in 2009 to participate in a militant plot to shoot artist Lars Vilks. But LaRose became impatient with the men who lured her to Europe and gave up after six weeks and returned to Philadelphia, where she was arrested.
LaRose's alleged al Qaida handler, Ali Damache, is jailed in Ireland fighting extradition to the United States on terrorism charges.
A Colorado woman who flew from that western U.S. state to marry Damache in Ireland, has pleaded guilty to related terrorism charges and is to be sentenced Wednesday.
A lawyer for co-conspirator Mohammad Hassan Khalid, who also pleaded guilty, has asked for his sentencing Tuesday be delayed in order to complete psychological evaluations. Khalid committed his crimes when he was 15 and 16 and is the youngest person charged with terrorism in the United States.
According to a November report in Britain's The Guardian newspaper, documents leaked by Edward Snowden to the British newspaper show the FBI became involved in the "Jihad Jane" case after the National Security Agency intercepted communications related to the plot.