KURT GORMAN had no idea that his Texas girlfriend of four years was on the Internet calling herself JihadJane.
Colleen R. LaRose, whom he met in Ennis, Texas, left the couple’s Montgomery County apartment Aug. 23, the day after his father’s funeral, without telling him, he said.
“I came home and she’s gone. She packed up and left. Didn’t see it coming, didn’t know,” Gorman told the Daily News last night. “I was upset, worried. Maybe something happened to her. You don’t know.”
Yesterday, Gorman, of Pennsburg, 48 miles northwest of Philadelphia, said he finally found out – by reading about her on the Internet.
A federal grand jury indicted LaRose, who also called herself Fatima Rose, allegedly for providing material support for terrorists and for plotting with others to kill a Swedish artist who had depicted the pro-phet Muhammad as a dog.
“I don’t know the details. I don’t want to know them,” said Gorman, who appears to be an easygoing guy with a mustache and beard. Interviewed at his office in Quaker-town, he was dressed in a green and black plaid shirt, black jeans and work boots, and was holding a half-smoked cigarette.
“She never talked about international events, about Muslims, anything,” he said. “It’s very strange. I still can’t believe it.
“The whole thing is crazy.”
A few weeks after LaRose, 5-foot-2 with dirty-blond hair, disappeared, taking most of her clothes, two FBI agents visited him. He said they questioned him, including what she did during the day and whether she used the computer. Nothing to tip him off, he added.
In November or December, Gorman said, he was subpoenaed by a federal grand jury to testify. He said he had been asked about his passport, whether he had given it to her. He said he told the jury no. She was charged with stealing the passport in the indictment.
Prosecutors and agents told him that they were in the middle of an investigation and could not share the details.
He said he figured: “Let them do their job. I don’t want anything to do with it.
“She seemed normal to me. She got mad about some things and happy about others,” he said. Asked what she would get mad about, he replied: “If I was not home when I was supposed to be, that I don’t spend enough time with her, that I work too much.”
As owner of a company that manufactures custom parts for radio towers, he said, “I work until the job gets done.”
The couple lived with his father in a second-floor apartment in a four-unit building on Main Street in Pennsburg. “She was a good person, taking care of my Dad, taking him to the doctor.”
His father sat in a lawn chair on the balcony, said neighbors. “He asked me to go for a cup of coffee,” said Joan Noon, 66, a next-door neighbor.
LaRose didn’t work, and had not graduated from college, but, he said, she was fun to be with.
“I wouldn’t have stayed with her if she was not nice,” he added.
“That’s why when I came home and she was gone, it was a shock to the system.”