An American-born woman who calls herself Jihad Jane has been sentenced to 10 years in jail over a failed al Qaeda-linked plot to kill a Swedish artist who had depicted the Prophet Mohammad’s head on a dog.
The artist, Lars Vilks, has reportedly told Reuters news agency that he believes Colleen R LaRose has spent enough time in prison and should be freed.
Prosecutors say LaRose, 50, has given authorities significant help in other terrorism cases since her arrest in 2009 and was given credit for the four years she has already served.
She used the name Jihad Jane as she became involved in the Muslim online community, travelled to Europe in 2009 intending to participate in a militant plot to shoot Vilks in the chest six times. But LaRose became impatient with the men who lured her to Europe and she gave up after six weeks and returned to Philadelphia, where she was arrested.
Defense lawyer Mark Wilson said the plot to kill Vilks was “more aspirational than operational” and that LaRose had never even fired a gun.
He had described LaRose as a lonely and vulnerable woman easily manipulated by others online. Her behavior, while not excusable, can be explained in part by deep psychological scars from her childhood, he said.