Page last updated at 16:35 GMT, Thursday, 18 March 2010

US woman Colleen LaRose denies four terror charges

Colleen LaRose
Colleen LaRose - also alleged to call herself Jihad Jane

A Pennsylvania woman held over an alleged overseas terrorism plot has pleaded not guilty to four charges.

Colleen LaRose, who allegedly called herself Jihad Jane, denies conspiring with Islamists and pledging to murder in the name of a Muslim holy war.

The 46-year-old was indicted as part of an investigation into an alleged plot to kill a Swedish cartoonist who drew pictures of the Prophet Muhammad.

She was arrested in October 2009 in Philadelphia.

The accused, also known as Fatima LaRose, reportedly appeared relaxed during the 10-minute hearing at a federal court in the city.

The divorcee, from Pennsburg, Pennsylvania, was wearing a green jumpsuit and had corn-row braids in her hair.

'Kufar world'

Lars Vilks
Lars Vilks has been living under an Islamist death threat

The judge set a trial date for 3 May.

Her indictment was part of an international investigation into an alleged plot to kill Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who drew the Prophet Muhammad with the body of a dog.

According to the charge-sheet, she plotted to "provide material support to terrorists", seeking both male and female recruits and raising money.

The indictment also claims she received e-mails in March 2009 from an individual in a South Asian country urging her to kill an unnamed Swedish resident.

"Kill [the individual] in a way that the whole Kufar [non-believer] world get frightened," one message said.

Ms LaRose allegedly responded: "I will make this my goal till i achieve it or die trying."

Authorities say she posted a YouTube video in 2008, saying she was "desperate to do something" to ease the suffering of Muslims.

Ms LaRose was charged on Tuesday of last week, on the same day as seven Muslims were detained in the Irish Republic.

Five of them, including a Colorado woman, Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, have been freed without charge.

Two others, an Algerian and a Libyan, have been charged with sending a menacing text message and an immigration offence respectively.

Mr Vilks' controversial cartoon was used in a 2007 Swedish newspaper editorial on freedom of expression.

A group linked to al-Qaeda in Iraq later offered a cash reward for killing him, with a bonus if his throat was cut.

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