Colleen LaRose answered the door of her duplex near Philadelphia to find an FBI agent standing on the porch.
He had questions about her interest in Islamic websites.
For LaRose, whose online name was Jihad Jane, it was the second time the FBI had questioned her that summer. Weeks earlier, she'd spoken with an agent by phone and offered a series of lame lies: She had denied any interest in jihadist forums, denied wiring money overseas, denied that she went by Jihad Jane.
This time, on August 21, 2009, LaRose lied less.
Yes, she visited Muslims websites, she said. As a recent convert to Islam, she wanted to learn as much as possible. Yeah, she said, maybe her political views had angered others online. But she denied raising money for al-Qaeda or having any connection with extremists.
Lying to the FBI is a crime, the agent told her.
OK, she said.
Then he asked if she planned to travel to Holland.
She was thinking about it, she told the agent, but there had been a death in the family - a heart attack had just taken her boyfriend's father. His funeral was the next day.
When the agent asked for a way to keep in touch, LaRose gave him her cell number. Call anytime next week, she told him.
A day later, LaRose attended the funeral. The day after the service, August 23, she pulled the hard drive from her computer and stashed it in a box. She gathered $2,000 in cash and packed three suitcases. With a bargain plane ticket to Amsterdam in hand, LaRose persuaded an acquaintance to drive her to the airport.
She was moving ahead with the plan conceived by the al-Qaeda operative in Pakistan, the man she knew only as Eagle Eye. Already, she had pledged to kill the Swedish artist Lars Vilks. He had blasphemed Islam by drawing the Prophet Mohammad's head on a dog.
As she headed to Europe with plans to murder in the name of Allah, LaRose left her boyfriend and mother with the impression she was running a quick errand.