Terror suspect, Colleen R. LaRose, came to court Thursday with her blond hair in corn rows and a "not guilty" plea.
The woman who called herself "Jihad Jane" and "Fatima LaRose" will go to trial May 3. She's accused of plotting to kill a Swedish cartoonist who upset many Muslims with his drawing depicting the prophet Mohammad's head on a dog's body.
Sources told the Philadelphia Inquirer that LaRose confessed to the murder plot after the FBI arrested her last fall in the Philadelphia International Airport when she returned from an overseas trip. Her attorney, Mark Wilson, wouldn't comment on the report after exiting court Thursday.
LaRose lived in the quiet community of Pennsburg, Montgomery County and that's where she did most of her work -- recruiting violent co-conspirators online, according to the federal indictment.
The 46-year-old woman spent most of her life in Texas. She dropped out of high school. She was married twice -- at 16 and 24. Both marriages ended in divorce and then she followed a boyfriend, Kurt Gorman, to Pennsylvania in 2004.
Gorman said he never considered LaRose religious, but by 2008 she declared herself "desperate'' to help suffering Muslims in a YouTube video.
"In my view, she sort of slipped sideways into Islam. ... There may have been some seduction into it, by one or more people,'' said Temple University psychologist Frank Farley.
Last August, LaRose stole Gorman's passport and fled to Europe without telling him, making good on her online pledge to try to kill in the name of Allah, according to the indictment.
She had also agreed to marry one of her overseas contacts, a man from South Asia who said he could deal bombs and explosives, according to e-mails recovered by authorities.
He also told her in a March 2009 e-mail to go to Sweden to find the artist, Lars Vilks.
"I will make this my goal till I achieve it or die trying,'' she wrote back, adding that her blonde American looks would help her blend in.
Although LaRose wrote the Swedish embassy in March 2009 to ask how to obtain residency, and joined Vilks' online artists group in September, there is no evidence from court documents that she ever made it to Sweden.