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Colorado mom arrested in ‘JihadJane’ terror case

A Colorado mother whose family said she flew to Ireland last year to join a possibly violent Islamic group was charged Friday with working with a Pennsylvania woman to attend a terrorist training camp in Europe.

Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, 31, had been arrested in Ireland last month with six others on suspicion of planning to assassinate Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, whose drawing of the prophet Muhammad with the body of a dog outraged many Muslims. Paulin-Ramirez, from Leadville, Colo, was later released by Irish authorities.

She returned voluntarily to the United States and was arrested Friday in Philadelphia, according to a statement from the Department of Justice. It did not give details of why she returned.

Federal prosecutors added Paulin-Ramirez to a case against Colleen R. LaRose, 46, who went by the online name “JihadJane” and was charged in a sealed indictment in October with recruiting people to kill Vilks.

According to the new indictment unveiled Friday, LaRose last summer invited Paulin-Ramirez to join her at a “training camp” in Europe. The day after she arrived, Paulin-Ramirez married another participant, a man with whom she had corresponded online.

The charges against Paulin-Ramirez carry a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Paulin-Ramirez’s mother, Christine Mott, said Friday that she had not heard from her daughter since her arrest in Ireland and had not been aware she was back in the U.S. The two became estranged last year as Paulin-Ramirez, a nursing student, became obsessed with studying Islam online and began corresponding with people her mother viewed as extremists.

Paulin-Ramirez took her 6-year-old son, Christian, to Ireland last year and taught him that non-Muslims would burn in hell, Mott said. The boy apparently returned with his mother and is now in Pennsylvania’s dependency system, Mott said.

Mott, who lives on disability and said she cannot afford a lawyer, said her greatest concern was getting the child back. “He’s seen his mother arrested twice,” she said in a telephone interview, sobbing. “He needs to be back here and out of this madness.”

nicholas.riccardi@ latimes.com


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