Woman charged in connection with cartoonist death plot

Woman charged in connection with cartoonist death plot

An American woman arrested in Ireland in connection with an alleged plot to murder a controversial cartoonist was charged today with terror-related offences in the US.

Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, 31, originally from Colorado, was among seven men and women detained in the republic after an investigation into a conspiracy to kill Lars Vilks, whose drawings of the Prophet Mohammed with the body of a dog were printed in a Swedish newspaper in 2007.

She was released without charge last month but was arrested by anti-terrorism agents after flying back to the US today.

The plot to assassinate Mr Vilks was allegedly masterminded by a self-styled “Jihad Jane”, Pennsylvania caretaker Colleen LaRose.

US prosecutors claim LaRose, 46, and Paulin-Ramirez separately travelled to Europe to support violent holy war.

Court papers suggest once LaRose was in Europe, she invited the other woman to join her to attend a “training camp”.

According to the prosecutors Paulin-Ramirez accepted the invitation and travelled to Europe with her six-year-old son last September.

On the day of her arrival, she allegedly married a co-conspirator who she had known only from online discussions.

Her husband, Algerian Ali Charafe Damache, was also one of the seven people arrested during last month’s raids in the south east of Ireland.

He was last week refused bail after being charged with an unrelated offence of sending a message by phone to a third party, which was of menacing character, on January 9 2010.

The 41-year-old, of John Collins House, High Street, Waterford, was remanded in custody and faces up to five years in prison if convicted.

A second of the arrested group, Abdul-Salam Mansour Al-Jehani, 32, from Libya, was charged with an immigration offence after he admitted telling investigators he gave a false name when he came to Ireland to claim asylum in 2001.

He was sentenced to three months in jail.

The five others questioned after the searches – including Paulin-Ramirez – were released from custody. Files on their cases are being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The Irish raids were carried out by anti-terrorist units acting on intelligence from the CIA, FBI and European agencies.

Mr Vilks, whose cartoons appeared in the Nerikes Allehanda newspaper in August 2007, was under threat of death from Iraqi members of the Islamic terrorist group al Qaida.

They put a $100,000 (€74,000) bounty on the cartoonist’s head, forcing him into police protection in an isolated area of Sweden.

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