Irish police release Leadville woman held in alleged plot
DENVER – An American woman and three others arrested in Ireland over an alleged plot to assassinate Swedish artist Lars Vilks have been freed without charge, Irish police said Saturday.
Seven people – including the American woman, three Algerians, a Libyan, a Palestinian and a Croatian – were arrested Tuesday in Ireland. Irish police said three others who were also arrested remained in custody and were being questioned.
In Leadville, Colo., Christine Mott identified the American woman held in Ireland as her daughter, 31-year-old Jamie Paulin-Ramirez. Christine Mott said she was informed of Paulin-Ramirez’s arrest by the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies.
Denver FBI officials said they couldn’t confirm that the FBI had contacted Mott about the case. Irish police refused to confirm whether Paulin-Ramirez is the woman in custody, and have declined to release the identities of any of those arrested.
After the arrests Tuesday, U.S. authorities unsealed terror charges against Colleen LaRose of Pennsylvania. She allegedly went by the name “Jihad Jane” to recruit others online to kill the cartoonist.
Mott said that Paulin-Ramirez told her family after she left in September that she went to Ireland with her 6-year-old son and married an Algerian whom she met online. Before abruptly leaving Colorado, Paulin-Ramirez had been a straight-A nursing student, her mother said.
The Motts said Paulin-Ramirez announced to her family last spring that she was converting to Islam and began wearing headscarves, and later a hijab.
“It came out of left field,” Christine Mott said. “I knew she was talking to these people online… What caused her to turn her back on her country, on her family and become this person? I don’t know how or why. All I know is she was in contact with this Jihad Jane.
Paulin-Ramirez’s stepfather, George Mott, said the FBI seized a desktop computer in late September but did not tell the family what they found.
Christine Mott said her daughter was getting 4.0 grades as she studied to become a nurse practitioner and was working a $30,000 job at Eagle Valley Medical Clinic in nearby Edwards.
The Motts said Paulin-Ramirez began to withdraw and argue with her parents about her religion in the months after announcing her conversion.