Maryland teenager pleads guilty in terror case in Pennsylvania
PHILADELPHIA – A Pakistan-born U.S. teen pleaded guilty Friday to terror charges for offering assistance to a woman who called herself "Jihad Jane" and supported a terror cell bent on waging a Muslim holy war in Europe.
The 18-year-old Mohammad Hassan Khalid faces a 15-year prison sentence for a single count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists for his offer to raise money and recruit terrorists.
Khalid, then 17, was arrested last July after he corresponded with a woman who later admitted plotting to kill a Swedish artist who had offended Muslims. He was 15 when he began online chats with Colleen LaRose, the U.S. woman calling herself Jihad Jane. She now faces life in prison.
Khalid was held in FBI custody as a juvenile before being indicted after turning 18. Khalid and his family are legal immigrants from Pakistan, and he could be deported following completion of his prison term. A sentencing date wasn't immediately set.
Khalid, an honors student, had been offered a full scholarship to prestigious Johns Hopkins University. But online, he pledged to forward money to LaRose for her to pass on to an Irish terror cell and hid a passport she sent him, according to authorities.
LaRose was being watched by the FBI after posting online videos in which she vowed to kill or die for the jihadist cause.
LaRose was arrested in November 2009 after returning to the United States from Ireland, where authorities said she traveled after agreeing to marry an online contact from South Asia and become a martyr.
LaRose intended to murder Swedish artist Lars Vilks for depicting the prophet Muhammad with the body of a dog, authorities said.
Investigators said there's no evidence LaRose ever made it to Sweden.
Khalid was indicted along with Ali Charaf Damache, an Irish citizen from Algeria who married another U.S. woman, Jamie Paulin-Ramirez.
The women were sought for their Western looks and passports, authorities have said. Damache, known as Black Flag, was charged in the Khalid indictment.
Neither woman has been sentenced.