Colleen LaRose (aka Jihad Jane) pleaded guilty on Tuesday in a Pennsylvania court. Among the charges LaRose pleaded guilty to are conspiracy to murder a foreign target and conspiracy to support terrorists.
The word conspiracy interests me greatly because conspiracy implies more than one person and every single person she allegedly conspired with was (is?) living in Ireland at the time. LaRose apparently conspired to kill Swedish cartoonist Lars Viks, who offended Muslims with his portrayal of the Prophet Mohammed as a dog.
International conspiracy. Jihad. Murder. Guilty. Ireland.
You'd imagine that the Irish media would be all over this one, right? Well, you would be wrong.
The national television and radio service, RTE, has avoided the topic completely, as far as I can tell. I haven't heard it mentioned nor seen it on their web site. The two main newspapers, Irish Independent and Irish Times, have published brief wire service articles about LaRose changing her plea, but with no details on the story's connection to Ireland.
It's almost like there's a conspiracy in the Irish media, a conspiracy of silence on this international terrorist conspiracy based in Ireland.
The story broke in March of last year when seven people were arrested in Counties Waterford and Cork, although five were almost immediately released. Among those five was American Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, who was arrested upon her return to America.
You'd imagine the media might be just a tad interested in this angle. Two American women arrived in this country just as any other tourists from America do, only these two were (allegedly in Paulin-Ramirez's case) intent on meeting up with one or more other people based here with the intent of carrying out a terrorist attack.
LaRose faces life in prison for the crimes for which she's been convicted; Paulin-Ramirez could spend 15 years in prison if she's convicted.
These are serious crimes. Yet the Irish media hasn't mentioned it other than those few sentences that add nothing to what you'd have might have heard on a news bulletin from CNN.
No mention of Paulin-Ramirez's husband, Ali Charaf Damache, alleged contact for LaRose before she left America and who, as far as I can tell, last made the news here back in May when he was "sent forward for trial" in Waterford District Court.
No mention of Waterford or Cork for that matter, despite the fact the original arrests were made there. Also, no further mention of Imam Ali Al-Saleh and his view expressed last spring that Ireland is a hotbed of Islamic extremism.
No mention at all. It's as of it is all just one of those things that happened somewhere else. Only it didn't. It happened here and they came here for a reason, but nobody seems all that interested in understanding why.
UPDATE: Ask and you shall receive, right? Today's Sunday Independent provided the Irish angle I was looking for on Colleen LaRose's guilty plea during the week.