‘Jane’ admits to ‘Jihad’ attempts

A 47-year-old Montgomery County woman who called herself “Jihad Jane” pleaded guilty in federal court yesterday to four charges including conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, recruiting violent jihadist fighters with a “desire to be martyrs for Allah” and plotting to kill a Swedish cartoonist who depicted Prophet Muhammad in an offensive manner.

Led into the courtroom in handcuffs for the 17-minute change-of-plea hearing, Colleen LaRose faces up to life in prison at her yet-scheduled sentencing.

LaRose, who has a sixth-grade education, “worked obsessively on her computer to communicate with, recruit and incite other jihadists” after converting to Islam. She used e-mail, YouTube and other accounts with screen names like “ExtremeSister4Life” and “SisterOfTerror” to “publish violent jihadist literature and videos to communicate and join up with others who supported violent jihad” in South Asia and Europe.

The government had electronic evidence that LaRose “made efforts to locate and contact the intended victim” during an Aug. 2009 trip to Europe.

Her attorney, Mark Wilson, declined to comment about whether she’s cooperating with investigators. “I will have much more to say at sentencing,” he said.