Photo: First Woman Added to FBI Most Wanted List has Been Living in Cuba
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $1 million for information directly leading to the arrest of a Most Wanted Terrorist, and for the first time, a woman has been added to that list.
Believed to have been living in Cuba for about three decades, Joanne Deborah Chesimard aka Assata Shakur, 65, is the latest addition to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list.
One of Chesimard’s victims, a New Jersey State Police trooper, Werner Foerster, was killed after he and his partner pulled over Chesimard and her two accomplices for a motor vehicle violation on May 2, 1973. Foerster was executed, killed by his own duty weapon, which had been ripped for his holster.
“This case is just as important today as it was when it happened 40 years ago,” said Mike Rinaldi, a lieutenant in the New Jersey State Police and member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in Newark. “Bringing Joanne Chesimard back here to face justice is still a top priority,” he said.
Chesimard was a prominent member of the Black Panther Party and later the Black Liberation Army. BLA was responsible for the killing and wounding of more than a dozen law enforcement officers, and is known as “one of the most violent militant organizations of the 1970s.”
The FBI says Chesimard has been living in Cuba since 1984 under political asylum after escaping from prison in 1979 and is said to have have a “standard of living…higher than most Cubans.”
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $1 million for information leading to the apprehension of Chesimard, and the state of New Jersey is offering an independent reward of up to $1 million, bringing the total maximum reward to $2 million.
In addition to being the first woman named as a Most Wanted Terrorist, Chesimard is only the second domestic terrorist to be added to the list.