Md. teen charged in ‘Jihad Jane’ terror plot pleads not guilty at first public court hearing

PHILADELPHIA — A high school honors student pleaded not guilty Monday to charges he helped the American terrorist dubbed “Jihad Jane” raise money and recruits for a Muslim holy war.

Mohammad Hassan Khalid, 18, of Ellicott City, Md., a Baltimore suburb, entered the plea at his first public court appearance since his July 6 arrest.

Federal prosecutors allege that Khalid tried to recruit men to wage a holy war in Europe and South Asia, and women with passports who could travel there. He had met a middle-aged Pennsylvania woman, Colleen LaRose, in online chat rooms when he was about 15, according to last week’s indictment. LaRose was being watched by the FBI after posting YouTube videos in which she dubbed herself “Jihad Jane” and vowed to kill or die for the jihadist cause.

LaRose, 46, has pleaded guilty to plotting to kill a Swedish artist who had offended Muslims, and faces a possible life sentence. Khalid’s lawyer, Jeffrey M. Lindy, believes she helped the FBI build its case against the teenager.