UPDATE: Freed without charge.
Yet another convert to Islam misunderstands the Religion of Peace and gets involved in this jihadist murder plot. “For the Love of Islam: A Second American Woman Is Arrested in Cartoonist Case,” by Vanessa O’Connell, Stephanie Simon and Evan Perez in the Wall Street Journal, March 13 (thanks to Pat):
Last Easter, Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, a 31-year-old mom with a $30,000-a-year job as a medical assistant, announced to her family that she had converted to Islam. A few months later, she began posting to Facebook forums whose headings included “STOP caLLing MUSLIMS TERRORISTS!”
On Sept. 11, she suddenly left Leadville, Colo., a small town in the Rocky Mountains, for Denver, then for New York, to meet and marry a Muslim man she connected with online, her family says. Ms. Paulin-Ramirez, who is 5-foot-11 and blonde, phoned her mother and stepfather in Leadville, providing them with an address in Waterford, Ireland, they say.
Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, a 31-year-old mom, is in the custody of the Irish police, along with six other individuals, arrested as part of an investigation into a conspiracy to commit murder.
Now, she is in the custody of the Irish police, along with six other individuals, arrested as part of an investigation into a conspiracy to commit murder, according to officials familiar with the case. The nature of the authorities’ suspicions about Ms. Paulin-Ramirez couldn’t be determined on Friday.
Ms. Paulin-Ramirez’s interest in Islam “came out of left field,” said her mother, Christine Holcomb, in an interview at her home Friday, wearing a blue sweatsuit with a silver cross around her neck. [...]
Ms. Paulin-Ramirez is the second American woman to be linked to an alleged plot to kill a Swedish cartoonist who made fun of the Prophet Mohammed. An indictment was unsealed this week against Colleen R. LaRose, 46, a suburban Philadelphia woman who authorities said used the Web alias “JihadJane.”
Ms. LaRose was accused of plotting to kill the cartoonist and attempting to recruit jihadis via the Internet. She was arrested in October and charged with providing material support to terrorists. The Justice Department kept its case under wraps until this week while investigators in the U.S. and Europe pursued their investigation against other potential suspects in the U.S. and abroad.
The main contact for Ms. LaRose is believed to be one of the men in Irish custody, an Algerian, who has a relationship with Ms. Paulin-Ramirez, according to a person close to matter. A person close to the Irish police couldn’t confirm whether Ms. Paulin-Ramirez and the Algerian are married. Ms. LaRose spent roughly two weeks in Ireland last fall, a person familiar with the matter said.
The Irish police are holding four men and three women, including three Algerians, a Croatian, a Palestinian, a Libyan and a U.S. national, according to a person close to the police. They are being questioned and haven’t been charged. A U.S. official familiar with the matter confirmed that Ms. Paulin-Ramirez is the U.S. national. The Justice Department declined to comment. [...]
In the months before Ms. Paulin-Ramirez left Leadville, taking her 6-year-old son but little clothing or other belongings, she began “wearing the black garb so you can only see her eyes,” her aunt said. “We knew that she was dabbling in the Muslim religion. But for her to disappear like this was from left field–we weren’t expecting it at all,” said Ms. Jones, who until last fall would speak to her niece on the phone almost every day. Ms. Paulin-Ramirez had begun spending more time on the computer, her mother complained to the aunt. “All of a sudden, she stopped talking to me and she disappeared,” Ms. Jones said. [...]
In 2008 or 2009, Mr. Mott said, Ms. Paulin-Ramirez enrolled in an online course about Islam.
By Easter 2009, she had informed her mother that she was a Muslim. At her father’s May 2009 funeral in Kansas, her aunts had to plead with her not to cover her head and hair with a hijab. Over the summer, her family says, she was spending increasing time on the computer and had begun to dress in the traditional garb, covering not only her hair and face but also her hands. Her current Facebook page lists her as Jamie Paulin, with a photo in which all that is visible are her eyes peering from slits in her full-face veil. [...]
A few months before she disappeared, her stepfather says he confronted her: “What are you going to do, strap a bomb on and blow up something?” he asked her. He recalled that she responded: “If necessary, yes.” [...]