Terrorist Suspect JihadJane Shatters Stereotype
The latest terrorist arrest gives fire to critics of racial profiling
Terrorism cases since 9/11 have ranged from the criminally mundane to the James Bond-ishly exotic -- but few have been as
puzzling as the story of
LaRose was indicted by a federal court on charges relating to the planned murder of a Swedish cartoonist famous for penning cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad as a dog. Several other people were arrested apparently linked to the alleged plot. LaRose was arrested in mid-October in connection with the case and has been held without bail.
The case against LaRose, a white, blond, middle-aged woman who apparently converted to Islam, raises old and troubling questions about the viability of profiling as a counterterrorism tactic.
Moreover, it also hits on several recurring themes that have long worried counterterrorism officials -- namely, the apparent domestic radicalization of American citizens, radicalization through the Internet, and the fear of self-starter terrorists who require neither elaborate training nor coordination from established terrorist networks like al Qaeda.
David Kris, assistant attorney general for national security, announced the indictment, saying that the alleged plot "underscores the evolving nature of the threat we face."
Indeed, LaRose doesn't fit the profile that many Americans would ascribe to a terrorist.
She is only the third woman in recent years alleged to have conspired with terrorists. Lawyer
Despite her none-too-subtle choice of online monikers, LaRose appears to have been quite cognizant of the low visibility
of her nationality and gender on counterterrorism radar, according to court documents. In the indictment, prosecutors
contend that LaRose "recruited women online who had passports and the ability to travel to and around
That reality stands in stark contrast to calls for more counterterrorism profiling in the wake of the
"I know it's not politically correct to say it: I believe in racial and ethnic profiling," said
But elaborating on the indictment, U.S. Attorney
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Terrorist Suspect JihadJane Shatters Stereotype | Alex Kingsbury
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