Jamie Paulin Ramirez

Jamie Paulin Ramirez is a convicted Islamist extremist and supporter of an Ireland-based terrorist cell that conspired to conduct attacks throughout Europe—in particular, the murder of Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks.“United States of America v. Ali Charaf Damache – Government’s Change of Plea Memorandum,” U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, October 23, 2018, https://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/case_docs/3759.pdf; John Mooney, “Ali Charaf Damache: how did this jihadist end up in Ireland?” The Times (London), November 4, 2018, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/ali-charaf-damache-how-did-this-jihadist-end-up-in-ireland-5crg7sc0b. Among those with whom Ramirez conspired were ringleader Ali Charaf Damache, and online recruiters Colleen LaRose and Mohammad Hassan Khalid. In September 2009, Ramirez traveled to Europe with the aim of supporting and participating in violent jihad. In March 2010, she was arrested in Ireland and released shortly after, before she traveled back to the United States knowing she would face criminal prosecution upon arrival.John Shiffman, “‘Jihad Jamie’ gets eight years in Jihad Jane case,” Reuters, January 8, 2014, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-jihadjane-idUSBREA0710J20140108; “Colorado woman indicted on terror charges,” CNN, April 3, 2010, http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/04/02/colorado.mom.terror.case/index.html. After pleading guilty, Ramirez was sentenced to eight years in prison for conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists in January 2014.“Colorado Woman Sentenced For Conspiracy To Provide Material Support To Terrorists,” U.S. Department of Justice, January 8, 2014, https://www.justice.gov/usao-edpa/pr/colorado-woman-sentenced-conspiracy-provide-material-support-terrorists.

According to her family, Ramirez married several times and moved often. Her mother described her as a lonely and insecure woman—“rootless and searching” and “easily brainwashed.” Ramirez worked as a clinic medial assistant and took online college classes to become a certified nurse practitioner. She was fascinated by other cultures, especially Mexico’s, and spoke fluent Spanish.Kirk Johnson and Liz Robbins, “U.S. Woman Held in Plot Is Released, Family Says,” New York Times, March 13, 2010, https://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/14/us/14terror.html; Stephanie Simon, “Paulin-Ramirez’s Actions Raised Mother’s Concerns,” Wall Street Journal, March 13, 2010, https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704734304575119913693410050.

After the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, Ramirez denounced all Muslims as murderers, including her Muslim stepfather. Years later in April 2009, she converted to Islam herself, quickly after she began expressing interest and read a variety of texts, including “The Al Qaeda Reader,” a collection of speeches and online postings about jihad. Ramirez became increasingly estranged from her family. She spent hours in Islamic online chatrooms, gradually radicalizing, and even neglected her son. She criticized her stepfather again, but this time for not praying openly and at the appointed times.Kirk Johnson and Liz Robbins, “U.S. Woman Held in Plot Is Released, Family Says,” New York Times, March 13, 2010, https://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/14/us/14terror.html; Stephanie Simon, “Paulin-Ramirez’s Actions Raised Mother’s Concerns,” Wall Street Journal, March 13, 2010, https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704734304575119913693410050.

In the summer of 2009, Ramirez and Collen LaRose (a.k.a. Jihad Jane) exchanged numerous email messages, in which LaRose invited her to Europe to attend a so-called training camp.“Colorado Woman Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to Terrorists,” U.S. Department of Justice, March 8, 2011, https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/colorado-woman-pleads-guilty-conspiracy-provide-material-support-terrorists. LaRose also introduced Ramirez to Ali Charaf Damache (a.k.a. Theblackflag) in an online chat.John Shiffman, “‘Jihad Jamie’ gets eight years in Jihad Jane case,” Reuters, January 8, 2014, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-jihadjane-idUSBREA0710J20140108. On September 12, Ramirez traveled to Ireland with her 6-year-old son and married Damache, whom she supported as a wife while he prepared for Islamist attacks.Kirk Johnson and Liz Robbins, “U.S. Woman Held in Plot Is Released, Family Says,” New York Times, March 13, 2010, https://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/14/us/14terror.html; John Shiffman, “‘Jihad Jamie’ gets eight years in Jihad Jane case,” Reuters, January 8, 2014, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-jihadjane-idUSBREA0710J20140108. While there, Damache trained her son in the ways of violent jihad, and Ramirez had videotaped the boy discussing his desire to shoot kuffars (non-believers).“United States of America v. Ali Charaf Damache – Government’s Sentencing Memorandum,” U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, October 23, 2018, https://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/case_docs/3851.pdf; Jeremy Roebuck, “Al-Qaeda operative who recruited Montco’s ‘Jihad Jane’ pleads guilty, agrees to 15 years in prison,” Inquirer, July 23, 2018, https://www.philly.com/philly/news/pennsylvania/philadelphia/ali-charaf-damache-al-qaeda-operative-jihad-jane-colleen-larose-guilty-plea-20180723.html. She later told FBI investigators that she realized her mistakes within months of arrival, and that Damache misled her and used her as a sex slave.John Mooney, “Ali Charaf Damache: how did this jihadist end up in Ireland?” The Times (London), November 4, 2018, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/ali-charaf-damache-how-did-this-jihadist-end-up-in-ireland-5crg7sc0b; John Shiffman, “‘Jihad Jamie’ gets eight years in Jihad Jane case,” Reuters, January 8, 2014, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-jihadjane-idUSBREA0710J20140108.

In March 2010, Ramirez was arrested in Waterford, Ireland, where she had shared an apartment with Damache, but was released shortly after.John Shiffman, “‘Jihad Jamie’ gets eight years in Jihad Jane case,” Reuters, January 8, 2014, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-jihadjane-idUSBREA0710J20140108; “Colorado woman indicted on terror charges,” CNN, April 3, 2010, http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/04/02/colorado.mom.terror.case/index.html. On April 2, Ramirez traveled from Ireland to the United States, knowing that she would face criminal prosecution upon arrival. She was subsequently arrested by U.S. authorities and charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.“Colorado woman indicted on terror charges,” CNN, April 3, 2010, http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/04/02/colorado.mom.terror.case/index.html. Ramirez was allegedly several months pregnant at the time of her arrest.Pray for: Jamie Paulin-Ramirez,” Adopt a Terrorist for Prayer, accessed March 18, 2019, https://atfp.org/adopt/terrorist/jamie-paulin-ramirez/.

According to the superseding indictment, Ramirez conspired together with Damache, LaRose, and Khalid to provide material support and resources to terrorists—including logistical support, recruitment services, and financial aid. They recruited several men and women through social media and chatrooms, who were willing to wage violent jihad in South Asia and Europe or possessed legitimate passports enabling them to travel to and around Europe in support of terrorist acts.“United States of America v. Mohammad Hassan Khalid – Government’s Change Of Plea Memorandum,” U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, March 27, 2012, https://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/case_docs/1964.pdf; “United States of America v. Ali Charaf Damache & Mohammad Hassan Khalid – Superseding Indictment,” U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, October 20, 2011, https://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/case_docs/1717.pdf. Unlike her three co-conspirators, Ramirez was not directly implicated in the plot to murder Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who has been targeted by jihadists since his 2007 cartoons depicted the Prophet Mohammad on a dog’s body. However, Ramirez pled guilty to the lesser offense of providing material support to terrorists.John Shiffman, “‘Jihad Jamie’ gets eight years in Jihad Jane case,” Reuters, January 8, 2014, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-jihadjane-idUSBREA0710J20140108.

In January 2014, Ramirez was sentenced to eight years in prison for conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, and an additional three years of supervised release.“Colorado Woman Sentenced For Conspiracy To Provide Material Support To Terrorists,” U.S. Department of Justice, January 8, 2014, https://www.justice.gov/usao-edpa/pr/colorado-woman-sentenced-conspiracy-provide-material-support-terrorists. Her co-conspirators Damache, LaRose, and Khalid were also convicted in a U.S. federal court on terrorism charges and sentenced to 15, 10, and five years in prison, respectively. Much of the evidence was based on online chatroom messages that the FBI intercepted.“United States of America v. Ali Charaf Damache – Government’s Sentencing Memorandum,” U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, October 23, 2018, https://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/case_docs/3851.pdf; “Algerian Terrorist is Sentenced to 15 Years’ Imprisonment,” U.S. Department of Justice, October 30, 2018, https://www.justice.gov/usao-edpa/pr/algerian-terrorist-sentenced-15-years-imprisonment.

Also Known As

Extremist entity
Al-Qaeda
Type(s) of Organization:
Non-state actor, religious, terrorist, transnational, violent
Ideologies and Affiliations:
Jihadist, pan-Islamist, Qutbist, Salafist, Sunni, takfiri
Position(s):
Supporter, follower

Al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks was the deadliest ever on American soil, killing nearly 3,000 people. Since the fall of the Taliban, al-Qaeda has established operations worldwide, including in Syria, the Gulf, North Africa, West Africa, East Africa, and the Indian subcontinent.

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