Assata Shakur has been added to the Most Wanted Terrorist list by the FBI. Also known as Joanne Chesimard, Shakur was convicted in the 1973 death of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Forester.
In addition to adding Shakur to the Most Wanted Terrorist list, the FBI has doubled the reward amount to $2 million. She is believed to be living in Cuba.
Special Agent Aaron Ford of the FBI’s Newark Division has called Shakur a “domestic terrorist” who has been and continues to be a part of the “radical, left-wing, anti-government black separatist movement.”
As reported by NorthJersey.com, Shakur was convicted of killing Trooper Forester in 1977, and was sent to the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women.
In 1979, Shakur escaped prison with the help of three men believed to be affiliated with the Black Liberation Army.
Assata Shakur has now become the first woman ever added to the FBI Most Wanted Terrorist List.
An admitted activist with the Black Panther group, Shakur denies killing the trooper. As stated at AssataShakur.org, Shakur contends that when she was pulled over on the New Jersey Turnpike she was shot twice by state troopers.
Additionally, Shakur claims that the unbearable conditions in the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility prompted her escape.
In her own words, Shakur states:
“My name is Assata (‘she who struggles’) Olugbala ( ‘for the people’ ) Shakur (‘the thankful one’), and I am a 20th century escaped slave.”
Shakur explains why she fled to Cuba from the US:
“Because of government persecution, I was left with no other choice than to flee from the political repression, racism and violence that dominate the US government’s policy towards people of color.”
Shakur contends that she never was, and is not now a criminal, terrorist, or a threat to US citizens.
FBI officials disagree. Assata Shakur, also known as Joanne Chesimard, is only the second domestic terrorist added to the FBI Most Wanted Terrorist List. Authorities claim she is currently involved in promoting terrorism against the US. Her supporters assert that she was wrongly convicted and persecuted due to her political affiliations.