In this exclusive four-part serial narrative, Reuters reconstructs the story of Colleen LaRose, the American woman whom authorities call the new face of terrorism.
By John Shiffman
(Reuters) – When the flight from London landed in Philadelphia on October 15, 2009, the pilot asked everyone to stay seated. A passenger was ill, he explained, and paramedics needed the aisles clear.
It didn’t take long for passengers to realize the ruse. Federal agents entered the plane and made straight for the short woman in a full burka.
Colleen LaRose, the woman who called herself Jihad Jane, didn’t resist when they handcuffed her.
FBI agents drove her to their offices two blocks from Independence Hall. When she complained of a headache, they gave her three Tylenol and a Sprite. Then they asked her to tell her story.
LaRose, a former teenage prostitute with a heavy history of drug abuse, mangled some facts. But mostly, she told the truth: