Reuters downplays seriousness of Jihad Jane case
Colleen LaRose was passing time on the Internet, when the call to martyrdom arrived from halfway around the world. The American known as Jihad Jane read the words "Kill him" on her computer screen. The order came from an al-Qaeda operative on March 22, 2009. LaRose thought this was it, her chance to become somebody.
LaRose was a recent convert to Islam. She found a place for herself quickly, raising money and awareness online for the plight of her fellow Muslims. They were underdogs, just like her.
During her darkest days, LaRose had experienced incest, rape and prostitution. She had subjected herself to drinking and drugs, from crack to crystal meth. Now, if she accepted the order to kill, she would surrender her life to a higher power: Allah.
The man who issued the command called himself Eagle Eye. LaRose knew him only online, and that he claimed to be hiding in Pakistan. Eagle Eye wanted her to fly to Europe to train as an assassin with other al-Qaeda operatives, then to Sweden to do what few other Muslim jihadis could: blend in.
They believed that her blonde hair and U.S. passport would help her to get close to the target: Lars Vilks, a Swedish artist who had blasphemed the Prophet Mohammad by sketching his face on the head of a dog. Eagle Eye told LaRose, "Go to Swede and kill him."
The case was so serious, officials said, that they charged LaRose with crimes that could keep her imprisoned for the rest of her life. But an exclusive Reuters review of confidential investigative documents and interviews -- including the first with Jihad Jane herself -- reveals a less menacing and a more preposterous undertaking than the U.S. government asserted.
Today LaRose says of the plan to kill Vilks, "I got so close to being able to do this." In truth, what happened proved more farcical than frightful, more absurd than ominous.
Posted by: ryuge 2012-12-11