PHILADELPHIA — A U.S. teen from Pakistan is in secret custody, accused of helping recruit terrorists for the woman known as "Jihad Jane," a person close to the boy's family said Friday.
Charges filed last month accuse the 17-year-old of helping Colleen LaRose in her alleged efforts to incite an Islamic holy war. Prosecutors have said LaRose was a convert to Islam who wrote of being driven by an urge to help suffering Muslims.
The high school graduate had accepted a full scholarship to Johns Hopkins University, according to the person. He is instead in custody at a youth facility. He could be moved to an adult prison — and have his case moved to adult court — when he turns 18 next month.
A law-enforcement source confirmed the details to The Associated Press. Both people spoke on condition of anonymity because they aren't authorized to speak publicly about the sealed case. The AP is not publicizing the teen's name because he is charged as a juvenile.
The Philadelphia Inquirer first reported on his arrest in Friday editions.
The teen came to the U.S. four years ago and has lived with his strict, education-minded family in suburban Baltimore. He is the rare juvenile to be charged or detained in federal custody.
According to both sources, he met LaRose in a chat room when he was about 15 and later agreed to help her raise money and recruits for the jihadist cause.
LaRose, 48, had dubbed herself "Jihad Jane" in a YouTube video that caught the FBI's attention in 2009.
She faces a possible life term after pleading guilty to four federal charges, including conspiracy to murder a foreign target and lying to the FBI.
LaRose, an elder caretaker in small-town Pennsylvania, cultivated a shadow life online and agreed to move to Ireland and try to kill a Swedish cartoonist who had offended Muslims.
No sentencing date has been set in her case while the investigation continues. The teen is referenced as a co-conspirator in her case.
According to the family source, the FBI searched his family's home and interviewed the teen several times at FBI headquarters without a lawyer or family member present. However, the source said the parents had authorized the interviews.
- Winners and losers under Obama's immigration...
- Consumer group lists '10 worst toys' for kids
- 'Mockingjay, Part 1' opens with $123 million
- Q&A with President Henry B. Eyring, Elder L....
- Fact check: Obama's claims on illegal...
- 37 homes collapse, dozens injured in...
- Cleanup on, flood threat looms after huge NY...
- Obama immigration plan good, not great for...
- President Obama's immigration reforms... 65
- Utah members of Congress slam Obama's... 56
- Pastors opposed to same-sex marriage... 37
- Fact check: Obama's claims on illegal... 18
- Winners and losers under Obama's... 15
- President Obama's immigration speech... 14
- Boehner: 'We will not stand idle' on... 14
- Is saying the Pledge of Allegiance... 14