Second US woman swept up in Jihad Jane murder claims

Americans forced to confront reality of possible home-grown extremism

A mother in small town America was last night struggling to understand how her daughter had been swept up in an alleged international plot to kill a Swedish cartoonist who angered Muslims by depicting the Prophet Mohammed as a dog.

The case of Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, a trainee nurse from Leadville in Colorado, who was arrested in Ireland last week, comes on the heels of charges against another American woman, Colleen LaRose from Philadelphia, who called herself "Jihad Jane".

Their twin stories are forcing the US to confront the reality of home-grown fundamentalism, and the ease with which individuals can be sucked into an online network of intolerance and violent conspiracy.

And in Leadville over the weekend, the parents of Ms Paulin-Ramirez, 31, were in no doubt that – despite the absence of official confirmation from investigating authorities in the US or Ireland – it was "Jihad Jane" who had recruited their daughter into the alleged plot to murder Lars Vilks.

"These terrorists came into my home through the internet, uninvited, and have ripped my family apart," Christine Mott told reporters.

Last night, it appeared that Ms Paulin-Ramirez had been released from custody in Ireland, and her family were seeking news of her six-year-old son with whom she travelled across the Atlantic last year, a few months after converting to Islam. The Algerian man she travelled to marry was believed to be among three of the seven detainees still in custody.

Growing up, Ms Paulin-Ramirez was "the kid in the class everyone picked on and made fun of," Ms Mott told the Associated Press. She was married three times before she left for Ireland, and her first husband used to beat her, she said. Her second husband, the six-year-old's father, was an illegal immigrant from Mexico and was deported years ago.

"I'd yell at her, 'Get off the computer, do something with your son'," Mrs Mott said, adding that her increasing extremism led to her estrangement from the family. "We were enemies. We couldn't even speak to each other. She lost her mind." The Algerian man was Ms LaRose's "main contact" in Europe, Ms Paulin-Ramirez's parents claimed. They had been able to speak regularly with their grandson, Christian, on the phone until the arrest last Tuesday, and had become increasingly angry with their daughter as he was taught how "Christians are going to burn in hellfire". His mother had changed his name to Walid after her conversion.

The images of America's latest homegrown Islamist terror suspects have shaken widely-held beliefs: both Ms Paulin-Ramirez and Ms LaRose are the picture of the all-American blonde. According to prosecutors, Ms LaRose said she thought her blonde hair and blue eyes would help her move freely in Sweden to carry out an attack.

Using the aliases "Jihad Jane" and "Fatima LaRose", Ms LaRose allegedly targeted Mr Vilks after he had infuriated Muslims by depicting the Prophet with the body of a dog. She is said to have had online discussions about how to kill him with at least one of the seven suspects picked up in Ireland. Those detained were two Algerians, two Libyans, a Croatian and a Palestinian, as well as Ms Paulin-Ramirez.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Keith Fraser says we should give Isis sympathises free flights to join Isis (AFP)
news
Life and Style
Google celebrates the 126th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower opening its doors to the public for the first time
techGoogle celebrates Paris's iconic landmark, which opened to the public 126 years ago today
News
Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
newsCleopatra had been suffering from 'pyramiding'
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
music
Sport
Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Web Designer / Front End Developer

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast expanding web managem...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor