Philadelphia Criminal Law News

Colleen LaRose Pleads Guilty To Murder Plot and Helping Terrorists

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Philadelphia suburban local Colleen LaRose, 47, pleaded guilty to allegations involving her role in a terrorist plot to murder a Swedish artist, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. U.S. counterterrorism officials said LaRose's case represents a new threat where an American-born woman has gradually become a part of an Islamic terror conspiracy.

While her guilty plea did not suggest that she would cooperate against her supposed conspirators, LaRose did admit to engaging in a conspiracy to supply material aid (like passports) to terrorists and lying to FBI agents about her terrorist schemes. Prosecuting attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams said LaRose "worked obsessively" in communicating, recruiting, and rousing other jihadists.

Williams added that the defendant would use pseudonyms like JihadJane and Fatima Rose and brag online about how she could use “her Western face, blonde hair, and U.S. passport” to assist terrorists with their plans.

Williams stated that LaRose agreed to help kill Swedish artist Lars Vilk in March 2009 after Vilk drew a picture of a dog with the head of Muhammad in 2007, which offended some Muslims. LaRose allegedly wrote another conspirator that she would make Vilk’s death her “goal till I achieve or die trying.”

Colleen LaRose would have likely been subject to a sentence of life in prison had she decided to go to trial and lost the case in Philadelphia’s federal court. However, the advisory sentencing guidelines might just call for a term of 30 years to life behind bars since she chose to plead guilty.

To learn more about cases involving terrorism and conspiracy, browse through the Related Resources links below.

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