WASHINGTON : The Pennsylvania woman who called herself Jihad Jane and a teenage accomplice from Maryland provided “very significant” assistance to US authorities in several terrorism investigations but still remains a threat to the public, prosecutors say in new court filings.
Prosecutors said Colleen LaRose, 50, should be sentenced to “decades behind bars” for her role in a failed 2009 plot to kill Lars Vilks, a Swedish artist over blasphemy. After years of delay, the American-born LaRose is expected to be sentenced on Monday in Philadelphia.
US 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, US 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 shockwaves 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 honour.”