Last year, four men and three women were arrested in Waterford and Cork in relation to an alleged plot to kill Lars Vilks, a Swedish cartoonist who had depicted the prophet Muhammad with the body of a dog.
Two of the female converts linked to the plot were from the United States, including Colleen R LaRose, otherwise known as 'Jihad Jane', the pseudonym she used for the internet.
For the first time, an Irish journalist rovided many details that have been missing from the bizarre story. Writing for the Irish Times, Mary Fitzgerald writes that a 14-page indictment obtained by the paper details 55 "overt acts" in relation to the conspiracy.
"The indictment alleges that, from about 2008 to July 2011, Damache and Khalid conspired with LaRose, Paulin-Ramirez and others to provide material support and resources, including logistical support, recruitment services, funds, identification documents and personnel, to a conspiracy to kill overseas," she writes.
She adds that, according to the indictment, "Damache, Khalid and others 'devised and co-ordinated a violent jihad organisation consisting of men and women from Europe and the US divided into a planning team, a research team, an action team, a recruitment team and a finance team; some of whom would travel to south Asia for explosives training and return to Europe to wage violent jihad.'
"The indictment alleges that Damache, Khalid, LaRose and others recruited men online to “wage violent jihad” in south Asia and Europe. In addition, Damache, Khalid, LaRose and others allegedly recruited women who had passports and the ability to travel to and around Europe in support of such activity.
The indictment further alleges that LaRose, Paulin-Ramirez and others travelled to and around Europe to “participate in and support violent jihad”, and that Khalid and LaRose and others solicited funds online for terrorists."
“This investigation highlights the diverse-threat environment we face today,” said the FBI executive assistant director, Mark Giuliano. “As revealed in this case, individuals used the internet to further their radicalisation and contribute to the radicalisation of others.”
Lisa Monaco, U.S. assistant attorney general, agreed.
“[This] indictment, which alleges a terrorist conspiracy involving individuals around the globe who connected via the Internet – including a teenager and two women living in America – underscores the evolving nature of violent extremism,” she said.