PHILADELPHIA, March 9: A Colorado woman admitted on Tuesday that she helped a terrorist cell that hoped to incite holy war, and her lawyer said she was “part of something that was much larger, much more complex than she ever knew.”
Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, 32, of Leadville, Colorado, conspired with others to get military training in South Asia and moved to Ireland in 2009 to join the group, federal prosecutors said.
Court papers released on Tuesday give a glimpse of the goals of the Algerian man she married in Ireland. Her husband sought to recruit “brothers and sisters” to train with the group known as Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, prosecutors said; the group is an Al Qaeda offshoot that has focused its efforts inside Algeria and has never attempted an attack on the US.
The documents also say he wanted to recruit people to train with Pakistan`s lead intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence. The agency, while a sometimes unreliable ally for the US, is also an essential partner for combating terrorism inside Pakistan.
Shortly after arriving in Ireland in September 2009, Paulin-Ramirez married him in an Islamic ceremony. The couple had never before met in person. She knew the marriage, along with her western looks and passport, would prove useful to the group, prosecutors said.
Her lawyer called her a sincere religious convert who married “for the love of Islam, not for the love of her husband.”
“She ended up being part of something that was much larger, much more complex than she ever knew,” lawyer Jeremy Ibrahim said.
Paulin-Ramirez voluntarily returned to the US after she, her husband and five others were detained in Ireland in 2010 as part of a terrorism probe. She was charged in the same case as Colleen LaRose, a Pennsylvania woman who dubbed herself “Jihad Jane” in a YouTube video.—AP