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Saturday 25 March 2017

Jihad Jane 'plot' woman held in US

Patricia McDonagh and Don Lavery

AN American woman arrested by gardai investigating an alleged plot by jihadists to kill a Swedish cartoonist yesterday returned to the United States, where she was arrested and charged with terrorism-related crimes.

The woman, who gardai released without charge, is Jamie Paulin-Ramirez. She is originally from Colorado, but moved to Ireland last year.

United States authorities added her to an indictment that had named only Colleen LaRose.

US justice department officials said Ramirez (31) and her young son accepted an invitation from LaRose to attend a "training camp" in Europe last year.

She travelled to a European country -- understood to be Ireland -- with her son in September "with the intent to live and train with jihadists", according to a justice department statement said.

Ms Ramirez also married an unindicted conspirator whom she had never met before, the US Government said.

She faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The woman flew from Ireland yesterday to Philadelphia, where she was arrested.

She is understood to have returned voluntarily from Ireland to the United States.

The new indictment alleged that Jihad Jane (46) and Paulin-Ramirez travelled to Europe to support violent holy war.

The court papers said that once LaRose was in Europe, she invited Paulin-Ramirez to join her to attend a "training camp". Ms LaRose has pleaded not guilty in the case.

Last month, gardai arrested seven suspects in the alleged plot to kill Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks -- whose drawing of Mohammed as a dog has offended Muslims.

Some of the suspects were also linked to LaRose, who had travelled to Ireland and was monitored by gardai here. She spent two weeks in the country.

Paulin-Ramirez left a $30,000-a-year (€22,000) job as a medical assistant in Colorado to go to Ireland.

She travelled with her son by a previous marriage and married an Algerian man she met online. She told her family she had converted to Islam.

Those arrested in Ireland included a married Algerian couple and a Libyan woman.

The alleged plot came to light after the FBI alleged that Colleen LaRose -- calling herself Jihad Jane, or Fatima LaRose -- recruited men on the internet to carry out terrorism.

Irish Independent

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