'Jihad Jane' and 7 others held in plot to kill Swedish cartoonist
'Jihad Jane,' as Pennsylvania woman Colleen LaRose dubbed herself, was indicted Tuesday for helping recruit a network for suicide attacks and plotting to kill a Swedish cartoonist. Seven Muslims were arrested in Ireland in connection with the alleged plot.
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The allegations highlight the ongoing sensitivity of cartoon renderings of the prophet Mohammad, and are a rare example of a white American woman becoming involved in global jihad over the Internet.
The indictment against "Jihad Jane" was unsealed in Pennsylvania Tuesday; the seven arrested in Ireland were being questioned Wednesday.
Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks ignited controversy in 2007 with his cartoon of the head of the prophet Mohammad on the body of a dog, as the Monitor reported. (See one of the drawings here.) Later that year, an Al Qaeda faction leader put a $100,000 bounty on Mr. Vilks's head.
Vilks has been under police protection ever since. In an article Wednesday, the Irish Times called him "an artist who courts controversy with the same ease as the rest of us draw breath," and reported his defiant response to news of the alleged murder plot targeting him: “The barks of those roundabout dogs will never fall silent,” he said.
The New York Times reports that Colleen R. LaRose – a blonde, green-eyed American from the suburbs of Philadelphia who called herself Jihad Jane on an Internet posting – stands accused of linking up with militants over the Internet to plot terrorist acts. The Times quoted a law-enforcement official who said the charges against Ms. LaRose were linked to the arrest of the seven Muslims in Ireland.