Maryland Honor Student Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Kill Cartoonist
Baltimore-area high school honors student Mohammed Hassan Khalid was arrested and charged with material support of terrorism in 2011. (Everest)
A Maryland honor student pleaded guilty Friday to conspiring to help a Pennsylvania woman known as “Jihad Jane” plot to kill a Swedish cartoonist who had offended some Muslims.
Mohammed Hassan Khalid, 18, is believed to be the youngest person ever charged with terrorism in a U.S. civilian court. He faces a sentence as high as 15 years in prison.
Khalid, who moved with his family fromPakistan to suburban Baltimore in 2008, was a high school student who had been accepted on a full scholarship at prestigious Johns Hopkins University.
According to filings by U.S. prosecutors, Khalid began communicating online with fellow jihadists in the United States, Ireland and South Asia as early as age 15.
One of them was Colleen R. LaRose, the suburban Philadelphia woman who called herself “Jihad Jane.” LaRose pleaded guilty last year to conspiring to kill Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks. The artist had offended some Muslims by drawing a cartoon with the head of the prophet Mohammed on a dog’s body.
U.S. officials have said the “Jihad Jane” case is unusual because it involves a green-eyed, blonde American woman who boasted that her appearance and U.S. passport allowed her to conduct terror activities without drawing suspicion.
Muslims have targeted Swedish artist Lars Vilks since he published a cartoon depicting Mohammad’s face on the body of a dog.
Vilks has received death threats since he drew this image of the prophet Mohammad with a dog’s body back in 2007.