Colleen La Rose has pleaded guilty to charges of terrorism that led to her capture of her alias “Jihad Jane.”
The 47-year-old could now face a life behind bars after she pleaded guilty to a series of federal charges, including conspiracy to murder a foreign target, conspiracy to support terrorists and lying to the FBI.
La Rose had been a live-in caretaker for her boyfriend’s elderly father while she worked online under the pseudonym “Jihad Jane” to support Islamic terrorists before moving overseas to hatch a murder plot against a Swedish artist who had offended the Prophet Muhammad.
According to prosecutors, LaRose "worked obsessively on her computer to communicate with, recruit and incite other jihadists," using a number of false names such as "Jihad Jane," "SisterOfTerror," and "ExtremeSister4Life."
Upon her return to the U.S. in November 2009, she was immediately taken into custody by the FBI.
Prosecutors told the court last Tuesday that La Rose and her co-conspirators believed their American roots and U.S. citizenship would have helped them to blend in.
"Today's guilty plea, by a woman from suburban America who plotted with others to commit murder overseas and to provide material support to terrorists, underscores the evolving nature of the threat we face," said Assistant U.S. Attorney General David Kris.
Entering her plea, the 4’11” La Rose told the judge she had never been treated for any mental health problems.
"With La Rose's plea it removes some pretty prejudicial evidence from coming in at Jamie's trial, evidence of making plans to kill someone, evidence of using the Internet to recruit enemies of America, that might otherwise become difficult for a jury to segregate in their minds who did what," defense lawyer Ibrahim told the Associated Press.
The Michigan-born woman moved to Texas in her youth and had married twice by the age of 24.
In emails intercepted by the FBI, La Rose had agreed to marry an online acquaintance from South Asia.
She also agreed to become a martyr after her would-be spouse told her in a March 2009 email to travel to Sweden and track down the artist Lars Vilks, who had sketched the image of the Prophet Muhammad with the body of a dog.
It emerged that La Rose had travelled to Ireland in September 2009 for a two week period where she met with a number of co-conspirators in what has been described as a fact finding mission.
"The guilty plea in this case today demonstrates our need to remain vigilant to the continuing and evolving threats that we face in addressing terrorism," said George C. Venizelos, special agent in charge of the FBI's Philadelphia office.