For a perfect example of why ethnic profiling for terrorists—by itself—is not a terribly useful tool, we have the story of ‘Jihad Jane’, a blonde American woman who converted to Islam. Colleen/Fatima LaRose is alleged to have been involved in several plots involving terrorism, from directly going to Sweden to assassinate one of the artists whose work made up part of the ‘Danish cartoons’ to misappropriating a US passport.

Ms LaRose is not of Middle Easter extraction; she’s not dark complected; she’s female. None of these factors is among those typically identified with Islamic terrorism. If anti-terror profiling were restricted to only ethnic characteristics, Ms LaRose would have been invisible.

From The Washington Post:

JihadJane, an American woman, faces terrorism charges
Carrie Johnson

A petite, blond-haired, blue-eyed high school dropout who allegedly used the nickname JihadJane was identified Tuesday as an alleged terrorist intent on recruiting others to her cause, as federal prosecutors unsealed criminal charges that could send her to prison for life.

Colleen Renee LaRose, 46, has been quietly held in U.S. custody since October on suspicions that she provided material support to terrorists and traveled to Sweden to launch an attack, according to federal officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case is continuing to unfold.

LaRose, who lived in suburban Philadelphia, allegedly recruited men and women in the United States, Europe and South Asia to “wage violent jihad,” according to an indictment issued in Pennsylvania. She fueled her interests on the Internet over the past few years and used Web sites such as YouTube to post increasingly agitated messages, the court papers said.

As an American citizen whose appearance and passport allowed her to blend into Western society, LaRose represents one of the worst fears of intelligence and FBI analysts focused on identifying terrorist threats. She is one of only a handful of women to be charged with terrorism offenses in the United States, national security experts said.

March:10:2010 - 08:41 | Comments & Trackbacks (34) | Permalink
34 Responses to “‘Jihad Jane’”
  1. 1
    Sparky Said:
    March:10:2010 - 09:24 

    The name Jihad Jane is not a very discrete one now is it. I am just trying to figure in how she thought she was helping Muslims by killing a cartoonist. I have a list of areas of improvement, a list of areas where Muslims need help and none of those involve killing…let alone killing a cartoonists. That is just ridiculous!

  2. 2
    Daisy Said:
    March:10:2010 - 09:53 

    It just shows how this malady is spreading in the West and becoming more and more incurable. It’s important to understand from where she got the idea of extremist Islam, who trained her to kill for her ideology, who convinced her that Muslims around the world need this kind of help, how exactly this entire ideology is spreading in the West and influencing the Western people. People like her are the symptom of a greater disease that is gradually spreading. Without understanding its dynamics, it can’t be cured.

  3. 3
    ‘Jihad Jane’s’ Arrest Raises Fears About Homegrown Terrorists – ABC News : World online news Pinged With:
    March:10:2010 - 10:03 

    [...] 'Jihad Jane' | Crossroads Arabia [...]

  4. 4
    Susanne Said:
    March:10:2010 - 11:04 

    There was a father and his sons arrested not too far from me a few months back. They were American converts to Islam and they were charged with some sort of terror conspiracy. Actually I don’t know what ended up happening to them. Maybe the case was thrown out because it was silly fearmongers at work and not reality. My point is that you’re right about the ethnic stereotyping. Daniel Boyd and his sons don’t look Middle Eastern.

  5. 5
    anonymous Said:
    March:10:2010 - 12:01 

    Converts can be the worst kind of extremists. It’s as if they want to “out Muslim” the native-born members of the Ummah. I’ve noticed it’s often the Caribbean converts in the UK who scream the most outrageous things at the protests.

  6. 6
    Jihad Jane Pinged With:
    March:10:2010 - 12:54 

    [...] blend in as she sought to kill an artist in Sweden is a rare case of an American woman aiding foreiJihad Jane – PHILADELPHIA — The self-described Jihad Jane who thought her blond hair and blue eyes would let [...]

  7. 7
    Sparky Said:
    March:11:2010 - 07:17 

    Chiara, what do you think about Jihad Jane?

  8. 8
    M Said:
    March:11:2010 - 09:44 

    You know I have to really question the intelligence of her terrorist leadership. They had the perfect terrorist. She could go anywhere unnoticed. Anywhere. And they send her after some artists? There goes the image of terrorist criminal masterminds down the drain.

  9. 9
    Daisy Said:
    March:11:2010 - 11:07 

    Well, she couldn’t manage even that much. Terrorist mastermind brain back in place – they knew how much she won’t be able to handle!

    Some people are under an oath to sympathise with and support Jihad Janes of the world come what may.

  10. 10
    Chiara Said:
    March:11:2010 - 22:16 

    Sparky–I haven’t thought much about Jihad Jane. I do think now, based on an interview with her boyfriend that she was a good recruitment target for Al-Qaeda, ie that she herself was vulnerable to being recruited. Her arrest goes along with the uselessness of racial/ethnic/religious profiling, rather than profiling based on behaviours. Since Obama kept all the Bush era infringements on the privacy of US citizens it shouldn’t be too hard to profile based on online behaviour, phone calls, emails, etc.

    Daisy–is this another one of those comments meant to be recognizably about me but without addressing me?
    I am, as a physician, under an oath to treat any patient under my direct care to the best of my ability without discrimination as to whom that patient is. That does not require sympathizing with the patient’s beliefs or behaviours, or supporting their actions in any way, let alone come what may.
    I am sure you think that your comment slips under the wire of any commenting policy John might have on personal attacks, but implying so blatantly that I am professionally bound to sympathize with the terrorists of the world, and leaving that professional obligation open to interpretation, while stating blatantly that I must support terrorists come what may is, in my opinion, crossing a line–one of decency in commenting, and perhaps even more offensively, one of having something intelligent to say in a comment.
    Please have the guts to address me directly if you have something to say to or about me. And please stop sullying a blog that was/is enjoyable for its level of debate and decency with such behaviour.

  11. 11
    Sparky Said:
    March:12:2010 - 07:21 

    O.K. I feel guided to say this…

    It is one thing to feel or to say, “Id like to see that person dead”. It could be translated to mean that person disturbs me so badly I would like to see them go away. In other words, I would like my problems to go away. It would be appropriate for people to get normal guidance into what their “problems” actual are…Is it a cartoonist, an observer, a commenter or is the problem within themselves? I would say the latter. (If I had a dollar for every time someone said they wanted Bush dead whilst he was President I’d be a millionaire that is all nationalities included. We all know Bush is safer now after he dodged the shoes.)

    However, this (JJ)JIhad Jane woman apparently took it way beyond decency levels with the actual planning and recruiting for the act of murder. She has major character flaws that having nothing to do with Islam. Let us say she were in a vulnerable state and an ideal recruit herself for Al-Q, that doesn’t excuse her reckless behavior. With every action, there is a reaction and I can’t feel pity for her. However, I feel compassion for her and I will explain why below. I am quite conflicted on this matter to be honest. It is not surprising when people step up and volunteer for these acts when those in power are given full reign to preach intolerance. In fact, they are allowed to call upon death to those who cause mischief in the land without mischief being clearly defined. And people like myself who have seen the bright white light thanks to many circumstances feel inclined to pull such instigators’ beards down and smack their cheeks are said to be violent? Ridiculous. rrrrrriiii DICK U Lous and it is only when I take my mind to those conditions can I feel sympathy and pity for the misguided Jihad Jane. Should she be held accountable? Absolutely! Should the Death Swagging Sheiks be held accountable? Absolutely! Being white, being brown does that matter because underneath our skin we are all human…hopefully LOL.

    I wish I had the power to redirect the misguided people’s preoccupation with issues such as offensive drawings, banning of minarets, banning of hijab when there are immense issues that need addressed like creating more transparency around us. IF the Prophet were alive today, I wonder what he would have to say. Perhaps people are into banning as a reaction to actions and fear. One thing keeps breeding another and another and it never ends.

    If I were on the jury of Jihad Jane, honestly I would practice compassion. Only because we Americans are allowing Sheiks out of Saudi Arabia (our great ALLY) to call upon death to the Kafir and these are terrorist supporters who are in positions of authority and high esteem. They are allowed to reign and are never reined in, yet Jihad Jane will make headlines why because she is white and has blue eyes and blends in. WTF? Again WTF?

    F- racial profiling, F-non racial profiling F- ItAll
    Rather people need to dig deeper into why this shit is happening in the first place.

  12. 12
    Chiara Said:
    March:12:2010 - 07:42 

    Sparky–I agree that Jihad Jane makes excellent media coverage because she is a white, blond-haired, blue-eyed home grown anglo recruit. The issues being obfuscated are deeper and do include the government’s handling of its foreign policy and its national one too. Obviously the US is being eclipsed in the Middle East as Israel is currently demonstrating. Time to clean its own house foreign and domestic.

  13. 13
    John Burgess Said:
    March:12:2010 - 08:28 

    Chiara, If you’re suggesting that there would be a receptive audience in the US to a narrative along the lines of ‘the government made me do it’, you’re wrong. The public might buy ‘She’s crazy as a June bug’ or ‘Poor waif led astray’, but not ‘Righteous anger strikes out’.

  14. 14
    Chiara Said:
    March:12:2010 - 08:45 

    John–good thing that no I wasn’t suggesting that in the least. I’m not even sure what comment or part thereof would lead to you think I might. I am just saying that the government should turn its attention to other forms of profiling (same as the security experts say) and that the media and public attention on this is because she is so American, and that there are bigger problems for the US to address for itself, in my opinion the economy, health care, and their role in the Middle East Peace process which seems to be eclipsing their input. I don’t justify violence even under psychiatrically proven conditions,eg psychotic and violent: treat the psychosis, assess responsibility for the incident at the time of the incident (psychotic to the point of incompetent in all matters at all times is rare), and hold appropriately accountable.

    I think she was made vulnerable by a number of her own personal life factors, none of which justify her actions.

  15. 15
    oby Said:
    March:12:2010 - 08:53 

    Unless the woman is found to be mentally unstable, which one would think she is simply by being willing to commit murder of someone she has no connection to (or murder at all for that matter,) I find it difficult to be compassionate. It doesn’t matter if sheiks preach hate from the rooftops, what she has decided to do is wrong on every level. Was she used by the hatemongers? Yes! Was she used by her Egyptian boyfriend? Yes! Was she used because she looks Swedish and blends in? Yes! For me it is no different than having a boyfriend who would like to conveniently get rid of his ex wife for whatever reason and plays on the heartstrings of his new girlfriend to bring her around to his way of thinking to do the deed…except in JJ’s case she is caught up in a larger “mission” which in and of itself can be intoxicating.

    I do think her coloring is important in this case and as Chiara said makes good news…Could someone who did not look as innocuous as she, have gotten quite as close to the artist as she did? Perhaps but certainly she didn’t raise as many flags as someone else might have. Rightly or wrongly, she blended in and therefore was used for that purpose…because the terrorists knew she would not raise any flags to those around her and would have a better chance at access. So to ignore or downplay that fact, IMO, is ignoring an important element of the strategy.

    Of course, Sparky you are so right about the stupid sheiks who preach hate unfettered. And frankly I am not sure why it is allowed. They are the first line of defense in this issue. They reach the people and are their “guidance”. To my understanding it is against Islam and therefore these sheiks are blaspheming against God. Why Sheiks blaspheming against the essence of Islam is not even looked at, to me, is hard to understand. Is the Prophet cartoon offensive? I am sure it was (I didn’t see it). But so was the artist who did an exhibition showing Christ in urine (Piss Christ)and actually won a $15,000 award for it! Is it worth killing for? Nah! Not even close.

    The Sheiks calling for death are far more dangerous, blasphemous and offensive to Islam, IMO than a cartoon. I’m not even Muslim and it pisses me off that they treat Islam with such an irreverent, cavalier attitude (preaching hate and violence) How dare they cheapen it like that? When someone from outside of the religion does something offensive that is one thing, but the clergy of the religion itself debasing it as they do is to me totally unacceptable.

    As Chiara indicated, the problem is a multipronged. I do think the USA needs to improve it’s foreign policy in some areas, but I also think they are making a genuine effort to do so (with varying degrees of success and cooperation!) It is an issue that needs to be tackled from several angles at the same time.

  16. 16
    Sparky Said:
    March:12:2010 - 10:14 

    Understanding how someone would want to commit murder…???Unless one has been Islamically bombarded (or anything bombarded) it is hard to understand how passions and emotions can get stirred to believe that murder is the “right” thing to do or the “only” thing to do. Getting high on the Deen is part of the bombardment. I have said that my compassion only comes in where the leadership has failed. Meaning the Holy Mentors have failed the people and this is all inadvertently supported when the US government of which does not even nearly crack down hard enough on the Islamic clergy in “allied nations”. Perhaps recently they have seen the light and have started cracking down. I see many (of course not all) of the clergy as a herd of wild bulls who are stampeding the people off a large cliff.

    I do find it very hard to believe and understand how these Americans are made into homegrowns. They are not the smartest or the brightest of folk; either that or they have a hard on for violence. Apparently they (those who want to help or do something productive) are accessing the wrong access points (terrorists) if they are looking to help Muslims and my main point is that ME governments, statements, practices etc. seem to support all the rage behind all the bans, anger and incitement to murder via whatever one calls it, Jihad. More productive and legal access points would be “lobbying”, legal protesting, debates, raising awareness and ULTIMATELY SPREADING A CULTURE OF PEACE to end the violent cycle.

    I wonder if this woman honestly believed she was helping Muslims. I would argue with any Muslim concerning how killing is NOT a solution. That is not dealing with a problem, is is feeding the problem. Her intentions which may have been good “help” + “Muslims” did not end up working out well. Do NOT “Help” + “Muslims” by “Killing”! It is ridiculous what I am saying and it is absolutely absurd but anyway it needs to be said. “Help” + “Muslims” by being a good example. Be a good Muslim by radiating the warmth and love of Allah. I don’t think that is unIslamic. Jay Kactuz…needs to provide input. “Help” + “Muslims” by proving that Muslims can solve problems and deal with issues via peaceful means.

    Oby very well spoken. I couldn’t agree more with what you have said especially concerning the third and fourth paragraphs.

  17. 17
    John Burgess Said:
    March:12:2010 - 10:42 

    I perhaps should have phrased that ‘The government, because of it’s bad policies which are abhorrent, forced me to do crazy stuff as I had no other way to make my protest known.’ That’s the argument I think would never fly with any American jury.

  18. 18
    Daisy Said:
    March:12:2010 - 11:07 

    Those engage in this religionist killing business do believe that they are helping a part of humanity – apart from other mundane factors of course. They fail to see that killing any person or group for extremist religionist reasons can’t help anyone. They are so brainwashed with their extremist ideology that they don’t reason the way you are doing here. Your argument is certainly right, but at the same time, this woman may have genuinely believed she was helping Muslims – of course her belief was misplaced. Those who use such recruits don’t tell them that this is not the Islam they should be following. They are told that it is their religious duty to kill to save and uphold their religion.

    I think it’s not just the fact that she is White, blond and blue eyed. The important factor here is that she has converted to Islam. If she was White, blond, blue-eyed and Christian, Jew, Hindu, Sikh or atheist for that matter, would she have made the same media coverage? I doubt it.

    It’s not just the matter of racial profiling. This and other incidents like this are pointers to the reality that Islamist extremism is making inroads into the Western society, which makes it difficult to check. It should not be reduced to a racial profiling, which it is not. The important point is to study the process that such cases indicate.

  19. 19
    Sparky Said:
    March:12:2010 - 12:08 

    Daisy I agree about studying the process would be more productive or beneficial opposed to profiling.

  20. 20
    Daisy Said:
    March:12:2010 - 12:14 

    Thanks, Sparky.

  21. 21
    Chiara Said:
    March:12:2010 - 14:36 

    John #17–Not an argument I would ever make.

    Daisy #18–yes that was precisely the point being made, though you seem to have missed it. Jihad Jane makes such a big media splash because she is a blond blue-eyed home grown terrorist for Islamists, not because of her colouring, or even her religion.
    And yes, again the point was that racial profiling is ineffective as this woman’s existence and behaviours prove.
    Similarly, the profiling that has been advocated by experts and by some commentators here, myself included is based on behaviours that get a root causes.

  22. 22
    oby Said:
    March:12:2010 - 20:46 


    ” Jihad Jane makes such a big media splash because she is a blond blue-eyed home grown terrorist for Islamists, not because of her colouring, or even her religion.”

    What am I missing in that statement? Her coloring is that she is blond and blue eyed. It seems it is precisely due to her coloring and perhaps to a lesser degree her conversion (although that would seem to be the reason for the collaboration in the first place)that she has gained such attention…a profilers worst nightmare come to life.

  23. 23
    Daisy Said:
    March:12:2010 - 22:49 

    You have got it reversed. Its more for her conversion to Islam and less for her colour. Do you think a Saudi Islamist terrorist will not make equal or greater news? Or a Black Islamic Terrorist for that matter? Or a Chinese Islamic convert engaged in extremist activities? Or an Indian Islamic terrorist?

    The undue attention paid to her colour is sidelining the real issues involved here and takes the attention away from the focus on how the Islamic terrorism is spreading, what mechanisms are being used by the various outfits to spread it and how much deeper it has penetrated in the West than it has been supposed so far. These are the questions that are more relevant to this problem.

  24. 24
    Chiara Said:
    March:13:2010 - 04:52 

    Jihad Jane makes such a big media splash because she is a blond blue-eyed home grown terrorist for Islamists, not because of her colouring, or even her religion. [emphasis added]

    Sorry if that was not clear. What is most important is that she is a home grown terrorist for Islamist causes. Her colouring and religion are secondary to that. There are blond-haired blue-eyed converts who are not making the news, because they are living normal lives, not plotting homicides in the name of terrorism. Her colouring is emphasized by the media because it emphasizes how home grown this is…not a Pakistani-American, or Arab-American, or Italian-American (Italians were once thought to be a different race too by some), but a good old blond-haired blue-eyed mom’s apple pie kind.

    Daisy #23–you have misanswered a question addressed to me to reiterate your same point.
    Her conversion to Islam is banal, and not newsworthy. Her involvement in Islamist terrorism and arrest for conspiracy to commit murder in the name of religion is news. Her colouring is of importance in symbolizing how far Islamic terrorist recruitment has penetrated into the “real” US. In that sense it is highly relevant and more newsworthy than another colouring or ethnicity. It identifies who is being recruited as an agent and as a recruiter; and examining her case gets at the how. As in the past online reading and activity are important tools; the socially vulnerable in whatever way are good targets or receptive vehicles; the escalation of their own ideology and activity can be traced online. These issues are relevant to stopping terrorist recruitment and activity.

  25. 25
    Daisy Said:
    March:13:2010 - 06:12 

    The home-grown-racial connection is really another way of saying that textremism is seeping into the local population of the West. Only this kind of representation overlooks the fact that any religious extremist is a religious extremist – overshadowing her association with extremist Islam is really negating the main cause behind this extremist and violent activity. It’s like saying extremist Islam should be overlooked because it happens to be a strain of Islam. I am not sure the media or the officials in the US have this kind of objective. I have that much of faith in them.

  26. 26
    John Burgess Said:
    March:13:2010 - 07:41 

    I’m inclined to see this as an example of how vulnerable people–both ‘Jane’ and ‘Janet’ are types who would be considered ‘losers’ in the US–are susceptible to being manipulated. In these specific cases, the ’cause’ of manipulation is Islamic extremism. In other cases, it’s bank robbery, drug schemes, prostitution, conspiracy theories or other activities. People with little education, few smarts, and big chips on their shoulders are, unfortunately, plentiful. They’re also easy to delude.

  27. 27
    Sandy Said:
    March:13:2010 - 08:16 

    I agree with you John. And I sure am hoping I’m not in the new “profile” group.

  28. 28
    oby Said:
    March:13:2010 - 08:30 

    “Her colouring is emphasized by the media because it emphasizes how home grown this is…not a Pakistani-American, or Arab-American, or Italian-American (Italians were once thought to be a different race too by some), but a good old blond-haired blue-eyed mom’s apple pie kind.”

    OK…I was understanding it how you have described here. Somehow in the comments I was not getting that is what everyone meant. I guess for me her coloring was important BECAUSE she can slip under the radar rather than because she is homegrown which of course is of enormous importance. They go hand in hand…if she was different coloring it wouldn’t be such news it’s true. That she is homegrown is evident but for this particular “mission” her color was important. If they were aiming for someone in Spain perhaps they might have used a different homegrown with a different coloring.


    I do think the fact that she is Muslim is a big part of the reporting. If she was a blond Christian extremist going after jerry falwell it would be reported but not noticed quite so much because her coloring would be in line with a Christian… BECAUSE Islamic extremists are “supposed” to look Middle Eastern and she didn’t and it was so unusual that she was a female as well, plus American, it garnered a lot of attention it might not otherwise have done in JJ’s case.

  29. 29
    Chiara Said:
    March:13:2010 - 08:31 

    Daisy #25–once again you seem to be critiquing my comment without addressing me, and once again seem to be distorting my words to your purposes.

    I never suggested that extremist violent Islamism should be overlooked, and there is no evidence that emphasizing the representation of extremist violent Islamism as so very home grown in any way diminishes the issue, if anything it “brings it home” more acutely.

    For all your comments you haven’t actually mentioned what exactly you see as the root causes, the strategies, the patterns are. Care to enlighten us?

    John #26–I agree, except that I wouldn’t say causation so much as contributing factors to vulnerability and what makes them good targets for recruiters. Cults used to recruit on campus among the newly arrived to university, the socially isolated, the naive and trusting, and often those without a firm belief system, or with one they can manipulate to their ends. Communist and socialist groups took a similar tack earlier.

    The woman I treated who had been the target and victim of a cult, was in her first semester of university, had led a very sheltered life, and was from an immigrant family with very little education, and of very modest means. She had been a good student, and prayed to the Virgin Mary at an altar in her bedroom everyday (in keeping with the family’s and the culture’s religiosity). She was going about campus often alone. By the time I saw her she was an inpatient on a subspecialist psychiatry ward with schizophrenia-like symptoms of disordered thinking, lack of trust, especially of her loving parents, and problems with reality.

    She was so impaired that when my rotation was coming to an end, although I prepared her for my leaving, she couldn’t understand to the point where the nurses thought I hadn’t done it and warned me to do so. I went back to see her with her primary nurse present so we could both try. It wasn’t computing so for the first and only time with a patient, I gave her a hug, and repeated my goodbyes–then she understood and said goodbye.
    Discussing her prognosis with her popcorn vending father, and homemaker mother is one of the few times in a professional setting that I have come extremely close to crying.

    I see the Janes and Janets as being similarly vulnerable though with obvious differences, and having similar degrees of impairment in their thinking and reality base. That does not imply in their cases that they are excused by reason of insanity, unless their lawyers come up with something very impressive, and they are tried in a US court of a liberal state ie not Texas where an untreated psychotically depressed post-partum mother is jailed for tragically obeying command hallucinations to take the lives of her children.

  30. 30
    Chiara Said:
    March:13:2010 - 08:35 

    Oby #28–we seem to be saying the same thing differently, or at least agreeing that her colouring is an important aspect of her terrorism both for the media “homegrown” and for the passing–in Sweden no less! :)

  31. 31
    Daisy Said:
    March:13:2010 - 09:56 

    I agree with you – of course it is her susceptibility – and of many more women and men like her who may or may not be White. Otherwise Islamic extremism has been around in many parts of the world for quite some time, but it’s not as if people in large groups are joining them – because they don’t get convinced that it’s the right approach. Only the susceptible ones join them. Even the Nigerian and the Saudis were susceptible to the extremist ideology, that’s why they followed it. And they were not White.

    You are right that Islamic extremism is the primary reason, reinforced by her origins. That’s what I said above. Besides, all Americans – or the Western people are not White – those people who project such ideas forget that there are Blacks living there and also the people of Asian origins who have got the citizenship of the US or other Western countries, who are as much a part of those countries as the White people. And let’s not forget the Native Americans and other native people of those countries. It’s a dangerous mentality to play the racist card and push under the carpet the fact that extremist Islam has a big role to play in it.

  32. 32
    John Burgess Said:
    March:13:2010 - 10:02 

    I wish I could say, ‘No chance!’ With the way people get crazy about stuff related to security, though, I’m not going to say that.

  33. 33
    John Burgess Said:
    March:13:2010 - 10:05 

    No, stupid behavior is not an excuse unless it’s clearly related to definable psychological problems or low intelligence. I’m fairly confident that these two are not to be found on the MENSA rolls, but neither do I see any evidence that they would have legally sustainable arguments in mitigation. Unlike the fantasy of ‘Lake Woebegone, where all the children are above average’, that’s not the case in real life.

  34. 34
    Chiara Said:
    March:13:2010 - 16:09 

    Daisy #31–I beg to differ, that is not what you said previously. The primacy of violent extremism as opposed to colour being operant is what I have been saying.

    Also check your demographics. The vast majority of Americans are white. The African-American (whether Hispanic or not), Asian, and certainly Native American populations of the US are very small. Similarly the population of “the West” no matter how you define it is in the vast majority white. Jihad Jane’s whiteness is the reason she can blend in on a terrorist mission to Sweden. It is the reason she is such a big news story.

    Finally, there are many who hold extreme or extremist views who are not terrorists. That is the reason I have been using the term violent extremism. To conflate the 2 is dangerous in itself.

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