Saturday, December 8, 2012

Jihad Jane

By John Shiffman

(Reuters) - Colleen LaRose, the middle-aged American woman who called herself Jihad Jane, hurried to the computer in her duplex near Philadelphia - the place where she had spent months entertaining murder.

Minutes earlier, an FBI agent had left a card on her door, requesting a call, and LaRose had known precisely what to do. She emailed her al-Qaeda handler for advice.

It was July 17, 2009, and almost four months had passed since LaRose had agreed to kill in the name of Allah. Now, the FBI left a calling card on her doorstep. How had they found her? And what did they know?

Her al-Qaeda handler, Eagle Eye, lived in Pakistan. He was wise. He was pious. He would guide her.

LaRose, now 46, had never seen his face, but during online chats, he had seen hers. Her blonde hair, fair skin and green eyes made her a prized recruit, especially for the undertaking Eagle Eye had ordered. She would blend in nicely, avoiding suspicion. Eagle Eye's plot called for her to travel to Sweden and murder Lars Vilks, the artist who had blasphemed the Prophet Mohammad.

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