Jihad Jane and Jihad Jamie: New Faces of Homegrown Terror

Monday, 22 Mar 2010 12:41 PM

By James Walsh

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Among the latest homegrown terrorists making news in the United States are two fair-haired women who are U.S. citizens and Islamic converts with the Internet names Jihad Jane and Jihad Jamie.

Their arrests are awakening Americans from a “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” of jihad, which is defined in the Koran as struggle or holy war.

Colleen Renee LaRose, aka Fatima LaRosa, aka Jihad Jane, gained fame on March 9 when a federal indictment in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania was unsealed. She had been arrested on Oct. 15 upon her return from a trip to Europe.

The indictment charged her with conspiracy to commit murder overseas, conspiracy to provide support to terrorists, identity theft, raising monies for militant groups, using the Internet to recruit people to carry out violent attacks, and making false statements to U.S. government officials.

She did not act alone but with five unindicted co-conspirators said to be from South Asia and in Eastern and Western Europe.

Her assignment was to find and kill a Swedish man unnamed in the indictment but said to be a Danish artist who published a cartoon disrespectful of the Prophet Mohammed.

She had a history of minor criminal activity, substance abuse, failed marriages beginning at age 16, and a chaotic lifestyle with no anchor of family or religion — fitting the pattern of numerous female converts to radical Islam.

Apparently her conversion developed over time and through Internet chat-rooms with Islamist terrorists. She in turn actively recruited others, including Jihad Jamie.

Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, aka Jihad Jamie, was detained by Irish authorities on March 10 along with six other Muslims. The four men and three women reportedly were two Algerians, a Croatian, a Palestinian, two Libyans, and Jihad Jamie, who is married to one of the Algerians.

They appeared to have connections to Jihad Jane and the plot to assassinate the Swedish cartoonist. On March 13, Irish authorities released Jihad Jamie, who had met her fourth husband, one of the Algerians in the group, on the Internet, converted to Islam, and changed her child’s name from Christian to Walid.

Family members describe Jamie as lonely, insecure, and easily manipulated. She had made contact with Jihad Jane via the Internet.

Jihad Jane, who visited Ireland in 2009 when Jihad Jamie was there, admitted that one of her unindicted co-conspirators was “a blond woman with light eyes.” Jihad Jamie is a blond woman with light eyes.

Today the Muslim population in the United States is estimated at 7 million men, women, and children. An unknown number of Muslims are illegal aliens, among them, visa overstays; and increasingly, a number are women converts. Among these are women recruited as homegrown terrorists by Islamist extremists using the Internet as a recruitment tool.

Their mission is to train converts to plot and carry out acts of terror against the “infidels.”

Recent Muslim terrorist activities in America include recruiting for al-Qaida; the foiled plot to bomb the New York subway; scouting by a Chicago man for the Mumbai, India, attack; execution of a U.S. soldier in Little Rock, Ark.; a conspiracy to kill soldiers at Fort Dix, N.J.; and the massacre of soldiers at Ft. Hood, Texas, by a U.S. Army psychiatrist radicalized by Islamist extremists using the Internet.

Al-Qaida and other Islamist terrorist groups began recruiting female jihadists on the Internet at least five years ago, and European counterterrorists report that 70 percent of converts to Islam are women.

Jean-Louis Bruguiere, a French anti-terrorist investigative judge, warned in 2003 that terrorists were recruiting Caucasian women, as they were less likely to arouse suspicion.

Women suicide bombers have been a mainstay of Islamist terrorists since the 1980s and today constitute a third of all suicide bombers.

Jihadist women also are trained to recruit converts to Islam, to plan attack strategies, to obtain passports using identity theft, and to launder money.

Jihad Jane and Jihad Jamie fit a psychological profile identified by Islamist recruiters, who seek women emotionally drained and beaten down, women with criminal histories, substance abuse histories, failed marriages or relationships, and dysfunctional personal lives.

Such women, often converted by friendships with Islamic men, find solace in the discipline and strict rules of Islam. The lure of a foreign religion and a new regimen of life appear as a transformative and redemptive force in their troubled existence.

Cyberspace is the catalyst for terrorist interconnections. The Internet, especially YouTube, MySpace, and Facebook, facilitate communications and conversions.

Counterterrorist experts agree that English-language Islamist Web sites are recruiting Americans. By playing to the weaknesses, needs, and vanities of their recruits, these Web sites spread terrorist propaganda. Terrorists thus provide an opportunity for disturbed searchers and wannabes to act out their dreams, desires, revenge, or quest for 15 minutes of fame.

With a lax immigration policy, the United States is permitting radical Muslim immigrants and converts to develop a fifth column whose terrorism could dwarf the 9/11 attacks.

As the terror of 9/11 fades, the U.S. population has become complacent, while Democrats and the radical left deluge the citizenry with concern for Muslim sensitivity. Suffering Muslims have become the cause célèbre of the liberal left, one-worlders, and al-Qaida recruiters.



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