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Terror suspect cooperated, congressman says

PHILADELPHIA - A woman accused of trolling the Internet as Jihad Jane and agreeing to marry a suspected terrorist and kill a Swedish artist targeted by radical Muslims cooperated with authorities, a congressman said.

Colleen LaRose pleaded not guilty yesterday to the four-count indictment at a brief arraignment in federal court in Philadelphia.

The hearing marked her first public appearance after six months of detention following her unannounced arrest in October. She wore a green prison jumpsuit and smiled warmly at her public defenders when she entered the courtroom. The judge set a May 3 trial date on charges in the indictment, unsealed last week.

LaRose, 46, was accused of conspiring with fighters overseas and pledging to commit murder in the name of a Muslim holy war, or jihad. She was arrested Oct. 15 returning to Philadelphia from Europe and was swiftly jailed.

Rep. Charles Dent (R-Pa.) said he learned through meetings with the FBI and other briefings that LaRose had been cooperating with authorities pursuing an international probe who arrested seven people in Ireland last week. LaRose lived in his district.

The indictment was filed March 4 and made public five days later, after Irish authorities detained an American woman, her Algerian husband and five others. Those suspects are linked to LaRose, according to a U.S. official not authorized to discuss the case, who spoke to the AP previously on condition of anonymity.

The arraignment lasted only minutes. LaRose uttered just two words - "not guilty" - when asked her plea to the charges: conspiring to aid terrorists, conspiring to kill someone overseas, lying to the FBI and stealing her ex-boyfriend's passport.

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