Tuesday, March 9, 2010

News Headlines Roundup 9 Mar 2010

U.S.: Pennsylvania woman tried to recruit terrorists: Washington (CNN) -- A Pennsylvania woman has been indicted for conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and kill a person in a foreign country, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.

Colleen LaRose, known as "Jihad Jane" and "Fatima LaRose," has also been charged with making false statements to a government official and attempted identity theft.

She was arrested in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on October 15, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office said. No arraignment date has been set, the official said.

LaRose is being held at the Federal Detention Center in Philadelphia, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

LaRose and five unindicted co-conspirators recruited men on the Internet "to wage violent jihad in South Asia and Europe, and recruited women on the Internet who had passports and the ability to travel to and around Europe in support of violent jihad," according to a Justice Department statement.

If convicted, LaRose faces a possible life prison sentence and a $1 million fine, the statement said.

"JihadJane" Charged With Terror Recruiting: (AP) A suburban Philadelphia woman "desperate to do something" to help suffering Muslims has been charged with using the Internet to recruit jihadist fighters and help terrorists overseas, even agreeing to move to Europe to try to kill someone, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Authorities said the case shows how terror groups are looking to recruit Americans - even suburban women - to carry out their goals.

A federal indictment charges that Colleen R. LaRose agreed to kill a Swedish citizen on orders from the unnamed terrorists and traveled to Europe to carry out the killing. It doesn't say whether the Swede was killed, but LaRose was not charged with murder.

U.S. Attorney Michael Levy told The Associated Press the indictment doesn't link LaRose, a U.S. citizen who moved to Europe in August 2009, to any organized terror groups.

Authorities describe LaRose as in her 40s and from Montgomery County. They say she called herself JihadJane in a YouTube video in which she said she was "desperate to do something somehow to help" ease the suffering of Muslims. According to the indictment, she agreed to obtain residency in a European country and marry one of the terrorists to enable him to live there.

"Today's indictment, which alleges that a woman from suburban America agreed to carry out murder overseas and to provide material support to terrorists, underscores the evolving nature of the threat we face," said David Kris, assistant attorney general for national security.

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U.S. condemns Israel's decision to build in disputed territory: Jerusalem (CNN) -- Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday that the United States condemns Israel's decision to build 1,600 housing units in a Jerusalem neighborhood, calling it "a step that undermines the trust we need right now."

"I condemn the decision by the government of Israel to advance planning for new housing units in East Jerusalem," Biden said in a statement issued just hours after he met with Israeli leaders in the region.

"The substance and timing of the announcement, particularly with the launching of proximity talks, is precisely the kind of step that undermines the trust we need right now and runs counter to the constructive discussions that I've had here in Israel."

The construction, announced earlier Tuesday, will be in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood, located in disputed territory in East Jerusalem. The Israeli Interior Ministry denies the territory is in East Jerusalem.

Michelle Obama Donates Inaugural Gown to Smithsonian: Continuing a long tradition, First Lady Michelle Obama donated her inauguration dress on Tuesday to the Smithsonian National Museum on American History in Washington.

The white chiffon, one-shoulder gown created by designer Jason Wu will be displayed in a new gallery called "A First Lady's Debut" which will showcases 11 gowns from the past 11 first ladies starting with Mamie Eisenhower through Michelle Obama.

"I truly recognize the significance of this day. This gown -- and all of the items that we'll see in this wonderful exhibit -- help us connect with a moment in history in a very real way," Obama said as she unveiled the gown at the Smithsonian.

"The detail of each gown -- the fabric, the cut, the color -- tells us something much more about each single first lady. It's a visual reminder that we each come from such different backgrounds, from different generations, and from different walks of life," she continued.

Obama also reminisced about inaugural ceremony that took place a little over a year ago, and what this dress meant to her.

"I remember that it was freezing cold in Washington. I know we all remember that. Yet, despite the frigid temperatures, hundreds of thousands of people flooded the Mall. Nothing was going to stop them from being part of history," she said.

National Museum of American History, First Ladies at the Smithsonian exhibit

GOP Begins Attacks on Pelosi, Democrats Over Ethics: The Republican National Committee has released a new ad designed to capitalize on Democrats' recent ethical troubles and cast doubt on House speaker Nancy Pelosi's claim that she would help oversee the most ethical Congress ever.

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