It looks like the feds are feeling a bit nostalgic. According to NBC news, the FBI announced it was placing former Black Liberation Army member, Assata Shakur, on the list of most wanted terrorists for her alleged role in the 1973 killing of a New Jersey state trooper.
During today’s announcement, on the 40th anniversary of the Trooper Werner Foerster’s death, New Jersey officials in conjunction with the FBI announced the reward for Shakur’s capture was doubled to $2 million.
Shakur was convicted of killing Trooper Werner in 1973 during a traffic stop and was given a life sentence, but escaped from prison in 1973. Shakur later fled to Cuba in 1984 where she was granted political asylum and has been living ever since.
The FBI lists the details of Shakur’s alleged crimes on its site:
Joanne Chesimard is wanted for escaping from prison in Clinton, New Jersey, while serving a life sentence for murder. On May 2, 1973, Chesimard, who was part of a revolutionary extremist organization known as the Black Liberation Army, and two accomplices were stopped for a motor vehicle violation on the New Jersey Turnpike by two troopers with the New Jersey State Police. At the time, Chesimard was wanted for her involvement in several felonies, including bank robbery. Chesimard and her accomplices opened fire on the troopers. One trooper was wounded and the other was shot and killed execution-style at point-blank range. Chesimard fled the scene, but was subsequently apprehended. One of her accomplices was killed in the shoot-out and the other was also apprehended and remains in jail.
In 1977, Chesimard was 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. She was sentenced to life in prison. On November 2, 1979, Chesimard escaped from prison and lived underground before being located in Cuba in 1984. She is thought to currently still be living in Cuba.
The timing of this announcement is quite curious considering the recent terror attack in Boston. Although Shakur, now 65, is a convicted murderer and has been on the FBI’s most wanted list for decades, labeling her a terrorist now and placing her on a list that once included the likes of Osama bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, seems extreme and has many wondering why the government has decided to upgrade her status.