Jihad Jane: An Unsavory Wartime Tradition Continues

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During the Vietnam War, we had “Hanoi Jane” a/k/a Jane Fonda, an American actress who espoused Marist ideology and actually provided enemy troops with a Hollywood-style photo-op. One of the most famous photographs of the Vietnam era is that of the Oscar-winning actress sitting atop a North Vietnam anti-aircraft gun while she adorned herself in a North Vietnam soldier’s helmet.

About 25 years before Fonda’s arguably treasonous spectacle, a Japanese-American woman served the Imperial Army of Japan as its “voice of Japan” during World War II. While Tokyo Rose was a generic name given by the American military and its allies in the Pacific to English-speaking female broadcasters who bombarded the airwaves with Japanese propaganda, the best known was Iva Toguri D-Aguino, also an American citizen.


Now, according to federal counterterrorism officials, a middle-aged American woman who served the radical Islamic terrorist network, helped to recruit ‘jihadists” for terrorist training and suicide attacks in Asia and Europe.

Colleen R. LaRose, aka “Fatima LaRose,” aka “Jihad Jane,” is charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to kill in a foreign country, making false statements to a government official and attempted identity theft.

The indictment charges that LaRose (an American citizen born in 1963 who resides in Montgomery County, Pa.) and five unindicted co-conspirators (located in South Asia, Eastern Europe, Western Europe and the United States) recruited men on the Internet to wage violent jihad in South Asia and Europe, and recruited women on the Internet who had passports and the ability to travel to and around Europe in support of violent jihad.

The indictment further charges that LaRose and her unindicted co-conspirators used the Internet to establish relationships with one another and to communicate regarding their plans, which included martyring themselves, soliciting funds for terrorists, soliciting passports and avoiding travel restrictions (through the collection of passports and through marriage) in order to wage violent jihad. The indictment further charges that LaRose stole another individual’s U.S. passport and transferred or attempted to transfer it in an effort to facilitate an act of international terrorism.

In addition, according to the indictment, LaRose received a direct order to kill a citizen and resident of Sweden, and to do so in a way that would frighten “the whole Kufar [non-believer] world.” The indictment further charges that LaRose agreed to carry out her murder assignment, and that she and her co-conspirators discussed that her appearance and American citizenship would help her blend in while carrying out her plans. According to the indictment, LaRose traveled to Europe and tracked the intended target online in an effort to complete her task.

Colleen R. LaRose, who refers to herself as “Jihad Jane” on the Internet, went as far as proclaiming her intention to travel to Sweden to kill the cartoonist who created an uproar with a less than flattering drawing of Mohammed.

La Rose is 46 years of age with blonde hair and green eyes who boasted that no one would catch her in the United States. According to her blogging and email messages, she bragged that U.S. authorities will never detect her whereabouts or her destinations.

During her Indictment unsealing on Tuesday, it was reported that she is suspected of obtaining financial assistance from several terrorist organizations so that she could recruit terrorist trainees and travel on terror mission.

While she was arrested October 15, 2009 in Philadelphia, and the federal indictment remained sealed until Tuesday. The original arrest was for immigration law violations including the alleged distribution of counterfeit passports.

One official close to the investigation said that the investigation is ongoing and it’s hoped that some of the men and women she recruited will be indentified.

If convicted of the charges against her, LaRose faces a potential sentence of life in prison and a $1 million fine.

‘Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he’s a columnist for The Examiner (examiner.com) and New Media Alliance (thenma.org). Write to him at mailto:COPmagazine@aol.com’