PHILADELPHIA -- The Pennsylvania woman who captured national attention when she was charged last year with conspiring with foreign terrorists to commit murder changed her plea to guilty Tuesday afternoon in federal court.
In doing so, Colleen LaRose, 47, who also used the names "Jihad Jane" and "Fatima LaRose," avoids a trial and sets herself up for a potential sentence of life in prison, five years of supervision if she is ever released and a $1 million fine.
The proceeding in Philadelphia lasted 15 minutes. LaRose pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to kill in a foreign country, false statements to government officials relating to international terrorism and attempted identity theft to facilitate an act of international terrorism.
LaRose was accused of conspiring with others in Asia and Europe to murder Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who drew the prophet Muhammad's head on a dog's body in 2007.
LaRose initially pleaded not guilty to a four-count indictment in March.
LaRose, of Pennsburg, Pa., posted on the video sharing website YouTube in June 2008 that she was desperate to do something to help the suffering Muslim people. The message attracted contacts from people in Asia and Europe who invited LaRose to travel to Europe and train with jihadists.
LaRose agreed to obtain residency in Sweden and marry one of her contacts to get him into the country. She traveled to Europe in August 2009 to meet with her contacts and track down the cartoonist.
LaRose returned to the United States in mid-October and the FBI took her into custody at Philadelphia International Airport. She has been held in a Philadelphia prison since. The case became public March 9, when federal authorities unsealed the indictment.
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