Jihad Jane Highlights "Homegrown" Terror Concerns
American Colleen LaRose, known on the internet as Jihad Jane, faces terrorism charges for her attempts to recruit others for terrorist acts. Prosecutors also believe she planned to use her American background as a means to approach and kill Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks for his cartoon depicting the Prophet Mohammad on a dogs body. Her arrest came shortly after the arrest of seven people in Ireland suspected of plotting to kill Vilks. The cartoon sparked vehement controversy throughout the world (Pakistan’s statement) and Al Qaeda placed a $100,000 bounty on Vilks for his publication.
LaRose attracted attention as a result of a comment posted on YouTube as “JihadJane” claiming that she desired to commit a violent act and corresponded with others stating she wanted “to become a martyr.” LaRose has a troubled past. Born in Michigan and later moving to Texas, she married at the age of 14 to a man twice her age. Her criminal record indicates she has been arrested for DUI, writing bad checks and public intoxication.
Although investigators do not believe she was an imminent threat, her case indicates a growing concern with “homegrown” terrorism. A report conducted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies that further discusses this topic was released today. The report states that “the perpetrators had different backgrounds, family identities, levels of wealth, and various motivations. The suicide attack on an IRS building showed that not even religion can be seen as a common theme in domestic extremism.” LaRose is the sixth case of homegrown terrorism this year. For more on LaRose visit here. You can find the article on homegrown terrorism here.