Updated Jan. 9:
Co-conspirator Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, 35, received an eight year prison sentence Wednesday for her role in LaRose's jihad network. Ramirez pleaded guilty in March 2011 to conspiring to provide material support to terrorists.
Ramirez agreed to seek jihad training in correspondence with LaRose. In 2009, she took her son to Ireland "with the intent to live and train with jihadists," a Department of Justice news release said. There, she immediately married an unnamed co-conspirator, until then a stranger, "in an Islamic ceremony, knowing and intending that her presence in Europe, her marriage ... and her future actions would provide support for the conspiracy" to one day carry out jihad attacks.
Significant cooperation with federal law enforcement spared Colleen LaRose a possible life prison sentence for plotting to kill a Swedish cartoonist and other conspiracies.
LaRose, known as "Jihad Jane," pleaded guilty nearly three years ago to conspiracy to support terrorists, conspiracy to kill in a foreign country, lying to investigators and attempted identity theft. Since then, she met more than 20 times with "government agents from all around the country as well as other parts of the world," prosecutors wrote. That assistance led to the indictments of two co-conspirators and helped "other national security investigations" which prosecutors did not disclose.
A federal judge sentenced her to 10 years in prison on Monday. Prosecutors had asked for "decades" behind bars to recognize the severity of LaRose's plot and its lingering threats. An American passport she stole for a terrorist "brother" remains missing. And the target of her murder plot, cartoonist Lars Vilks, remains the subject of attacks. Vilks was among the cartoonists whose caricatures of the Muslim prophet Muhammad prompted violent protests.
Vilks told American investigators that LaRose's plot "seemed to ignite other like-minded people." In 2010, Vilks was attacked during a lecture. He was not home when his house was attacked by arsonists that same year.
She already has been in custody for four years, and could be free four years from now with good behavior.
LaRose provided significant help, but remains "wistful" about ... prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum. She appeared in court Monday wearing a black head scarf. She converted to Islam after dating a Muslim man and reportedly became radicalized watching Internet videos.
She told the court she remained a Muslim, but "I don't want to be into jihad no more. I don't think like I used to think."
In pleading guilty, LaRose admitted that she and her co-conspirators wanted to become martyrs for Allah." Her indictment cites an email in which she says she will make killing Vilks "my goal till i achieve it or die trying." She traveled in preparation for an attack and even tried to contact the cartoonist, the plea memorandum said.
Prosecutors are concerned that LaRose, 50, remains a threat. She "grew unmistakably wistful when discussing her 'brother' in Pakistan, for whom she professed lifelong loyalty and agreed to commit murder," the sentencing memo says. A lengthy prison sentence could "send a strong message to other lonely, vulnerable people who might be enticed by online extremists promising fame and honor," prosecutors argued.
"LaRose was working with truly dangerous people, and she proudly used her American background and looks to their advantage as they plotted against America."