The FBI put a woman on its list of most wanted terrorists for the first time Thursday — a 1970s Black radical who authorities say shot a New Jersey trooper, made a daring daylight escape from prison and fled to Cuba.
The agency and the state also doubled the bounty for her capture to $2 million.
The announcement was the latest turn in the 40-year saga of Joanne Chesimard — also known as Assata Shakur — who was part of the Black Liberation Army and became one of the most notorious fugitives in New Jersey history.
“While we cannot right the wrongs of the past, we can and will continue to pursue justice no matter how long it takes,” said Aaron Ford, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Newark office.
Chesimard was found guilty of murder in the killing of Trooper Werner Foerster, who was shot dead on May 2, 1973, after stopping her and two associates. The trooper was finished off with his own gun, and the FBI says Chesimard’s gun was found at his side. In a direct appeal to Chesimard, he said: “Give yourself up, come to America and face justice.”
She was convicted in 1977 and sent to prison, but she broke out two years later with the help of accomplices from the BLA and the Weather Underground, a left-wing radical organization.