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Colorado mom pleads not guilty in terror case

From Susan Candiotti, CNN
Jamie Paulin-Ramirez is accused of traveling to Europe to support and participate in a "violent jihad."
Jamie Paulin-Ramirez is accused of traveling to Europe to support and participate in a "violent jihad."
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Jamie Paulin-Ramirez accused of conspiring to support terrorists
  • Paulin-Ramirez voluntarily flew back from abroad with 6-year-old son
  • She was arrested in Ireland in March, reportedly during investigation into murder plot
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(CNN) -- A Colorado woman indicted on terror charges pleaded not guilty at her arraignment Wednesday in federal court in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, 31, faces federal charges that she conspired to support terrorists overseas.

She was mostly expressionless at the hearing and nodded her head to indicate her not guilty plea rather than saying it aloud. She was wearing a green jumpsuit. Her attorney said she is 12 weeks pregnant.

The attorney, Jeremy Gonzalez Ibrahim, said he and his client decided she should not speak at the hearing because the government may have collected audio evidence. If that is the case, the defense didn't want to give prosecutors an opportunity to do voice analysis between her courtroom testimony and any possible evidence, Ibrahim said.

Paulin-Ramirez, who was indicted Friday, is being held in a federal detention center in Philadelphia.

She was arrested in Ireland in March, reportedly as part of an investigation into a conspiracy to commit murder. She was released without charges after that arrest.

The fact that she was released in Ireland and chose to return from abroad to answer charges in Philadelphia shows that she is confident of clearing her name, Ibrahim said.

Paulin-Ramirez, who was indicted Friday, is being held in a federal detention center in Philadelphia. Her lawyer said she will file a motion for bail.

The U.S. indictment also charges Colleen R. LaRose, a Pennsylvania suspect known as "Jihad Jane," with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. The indictment is a superseding document to a previous indictment that charged only LaRose.

According to the latest indictment, Paulin-Ramirez exchanged e-mail messages with LaRose during summer 2009 and was invited by the Pennsylvania woman to join her in Europe to attend a "training camp." Paulin-Ramirez accepted the invitation and arrived in Europe with her 6-year-old son, Christian, on September 12, 2009, with "the intent to live and train with jihadists," the indictment says.

Paulin-Ramirez was arrested Friday afternoon in Philadelphia after voluntarily flying to the United States from abroad, authorities said.

Her lawyer, Jeremy Ibrahim, said his client "did what any law-abiding citizen would do if they knew they were facing charges back home: She came back with her [6-year-old] son."

Paulin-Ramirez, of Leadville, Colorado, briefly appeared in court Friday.

Ibrahim said Paulin-Ramirez married a man when she arrived in Ireland last fall after meeting him through the Internet.

Ibrahim said the man "courted her and told that he would take care of her and her son."

On Tuesday, the government filed a motion for a continuance in the trial of Paulin-Ramirez and LaRose, citing the complexity of evidence in the case including the seizure of several computer hard drives. The trial was originally set for May.

The government's motion also called for a court order to schedule a pretrial conference among parties in the case to discuss discovery materials under the Classified Information Protective Act.

Paulin-Ramirez's son is being held in the custody of Pennsylvania Child Services.

Ibrahim has said Paulin-Ramirez is distraught over the welfare of her son. Her attorney said he has not been able to see the boy to check on his condition on behalf of his mother. He said he is trying to make arrangements for a phone call between mother and son.

CNN's Miguel Susana contributed to this report.