US

Colleen R. LaRose, the ‘terrorist next door,’ just one of many American jihadis

interns Contributor

Colleen R. LaRose became one of the few women to be arrested in the United States on charges of terrorism. A 46-year old white woman with an American passport, she is exactly the type of person who national security officials have feared Islamist extremists would try to recruit.

LaRose, known now as “Jihad Jane,” considered herself an ideal candidate to carry out a terrorist attack in Sweden, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Wednesday.

She is white and has an American passport, so “JihadJane,” a.k.a. Colleen R. LaRose of Montgomery County, decided she was an ideal candidate to carry out a terrorist attack in Sweden, federal prosecutors alleged yesterday.

The target was Lars Vilks, who in 2007 drew a portrait of Muhammad to test “the limits” of artistic expression.

The result was a series of death threats, culminating yesterday in the indictment of LaRose, 46, on charges of conspiring to provide support to Islamic extremists with whom she allegedly plotted to kill the Swedish artist.

A list of American Jihadis:

DANIEL PATRICK BOYD. Arrested July 27, 2009. Mr. Boyd, foreground center, is considered the ringleader of a group of seven men in South Carolina charged with supporting “violent jihad” movements in countries including Israel, Jordan, Kosovo, and Pakistan.

ADAM GADAHN. At large. Mr. Gadahn is the most wanted American member of Al Qaeda and the first US citizen since the 1940s to be charged with treason. He is one of two Americans on the FBI’s list of 28 most-wanted terrorists, and the US is offering $1 million for information leading to his capture.

ABDUL RAHMAN YASIN. At large. Born in 1960 in Bloomington, Ind., Yasin is wanted for his alleged participation in the 1993 terrorist bombing of the World Trade Center, which resulted in six deaths.

ANWAR AL-AWLAKI. At large. Born in 1971 in Las Cruces, N.M., the Al Qaeda cleric and senior recruiter is sometimes called the “bin Laden of the Internet.”

OMAR HAMMAMI. At large. Alabama-born Omar Hammami was profiled in a recent New York Times feature, “The Jihadist Next Door.” Raised Christian in a Bible-Belt town, the son to a Syrian father and American mother was gradually drawn into fundamentalist Islam and in 2007 joined Somalia’s Al Qaeda-backed insurgent group Al Shabaab.

NIDAL MALIK HASAN: Arrested Nov. 5, 2009. Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the US Army doctor identified by authorities as the lone suspect in a mass shooting at the US Army post in Fort Hood, Texas.

NAJIBULLAH ZAZI. Arrested Sept. 16, 2009. While born in Afghanistan, Zazi moved with his family to New York City in 1999 and became a legal resident.

JOHN WALKER LINDH. Captured Nov. 25, 2001. Washington, D.C.,-born Lindh, was captured as an enemy combatant during the United States’ 2001 invasion of Afghanistan.

DAVID HEADLEY. Arrested Oct. 3, 2009. The Washington, D.C.,-born man is charged with scouting locations for the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai that killed 174 people.