Colleen R. LaRose, known as “Jihad Jane,” was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison by U.S. District Court Judge Petrese B. Tucker in Philadelphia.
LaRose, 50, had pleaded guilty in February 2011 to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to kill in a foreign country, making false statements and attempted identity theft.
According to court documents, LaRose, a former Pennsburg, Montgomery County resident, worked with co-conspirators to recruit people online to wage jihad in South Asia and Europe. LaRose also had agreed to kill a Swedish man, and traveled to Europe to track her target, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
“This case clearly underscores the evolving nature of the terrorist threat we now face in this country,” said United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. “The Internet has made it easier for those who want to attack the American way of life to identify like-minded individuals to carry out their terroristic plans. While today's significant sentence will help protect the community from any future threat posed by the defendant, we as a nation must remain vigilant in identifying and stopping others who are susceptible to engaging in acts of homegrown violent extremism.”
LaRose had faced life in prison, but her sentence was reduced after she cooperated with authorities, The New York Times said. LaRose, who already has served more than four years, could be released in just over four years with time off for good behavior, the Times said.
This case was investigated by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force in Philadelphia, the FBI Field Division in New York, the FBI Field Division in Denver, and the FBI Field Office in Washington, D.C. The FBI was assisted by authorities in Ireland and Sweden, and by the Office of International Affairs in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams and Matthew F. Blue, trial attorney from the Counterterrorism Section in the Justice Department's National Security Division.