Friday, May 3, 2013

A black fugitive convicted killer has become the first woman to be put on the FBI's list of Most Wanted Terrorists

Joanne Chesimard, a member of the Black Liberation Army also known as Assata Shakur, fled to Cuba in 1979 after escaping from a prison where she was serving a life sentence for murder. She is listed as a domestic terrorist on the FBI website. There are rewards totaling $2 million for information leading to her capture. Chesimard is thought still to be living in Cuba, which does not have an extradition treaty with the United States and is believed to be providing shelter to an estimated 70 people sought by the US authorities. Chesimard was a leader of the Black Liberation Army, which was a revolutionary extremist organisation responsible for killing more than a dozen US police officers in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1973, she and two accomplices were stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike by two troopers from the New Jersey State Police. They then opened fire on the troopers, wounding one and killing the other execution-style at point-blank range. One of Chesimard's accomplices died in the shootout; the other remains in jail. In 1977, Chesimard was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of first degree murder, assault and battery of a police officer, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault with intent to kill, illegal possession of a weapon, and armed robbery. However, two years later she broke out of the Clinton Correctional Facility in New Jersey with the help of armed members of the Black Liberation Army, They drove a van into the prison and then took her out. Chesimard spent the next few years living in safe houses in the United States before surfacing in Cuba in 1984. "Of those responsible, one is dead, one is in jail, and one was broken out of jail and remains free in Cuba," said NJSP Superintendent Col Rick Fuentes. "Joanne Chesimard... flaunts her freedom in the face of this horrific crime". Chesimard had been granted political asylum in Cuba, and given "the pulpit to preach and profess, stirring supporters and groups to mobilize against the US by any means necessary", Col Fuentes added. The FBI is offering a reward of up to $1 million for information leading to her capture, while the state of New Jersey is separately offering another $1 million.


Anonymous said...

Very appropriate. The first female to be put on the FBI"s Ten Most Wanted List is a black female.

Anonymous said...

I am surprised it took them this long to put her on the list since she committed the murders back in the 1970's.