Joanne Chesimard won the honor of becoming the first woman to be added to the FBI’s list of Most Wanted Terrorists.
Chesimard was convicted of murdering a state trooper point-blank 40 years ago on the New Jersey Turnpike. She was serving out a life sentence in prison when she escaped, before fleeing to Cuba in 1984. She is known to be a left-wing militant, with possible ties to terrorist organizations.
"Joanne Chesimard is a domestic terrorist who murdered a law enforcement officer execution-style," said Aaron Ford, special agent in charge of the FBI's Newark Division. The state trooper she killed, Werner Foerster, was found wounded in his right arm and abdomen, then executed with his service gun.
Chesimard was known to be a member of the Black Liberation Army at the time of the murder, and her jammed handgun was found at Foerster’s side.
Now as a fugitive in Cuba, 65-year-old Chesimard goes by the name Assata Shakur and “flaunts her freedom,” according to New Jersey State Police Col. Rick Fuentes.
"To this day from her safe haven in Cuba Chesimard has been given a pulpit to preach and profess, stirring supporters and groups to mobilize against the United States by any means necessary," Fuentes said.
The state of New Jersey has doubled the FBI’s reward money for her capture, putting the grand total at $2 million for information leading to her arrest.
"We want her to come back here and face justice and serve out her sentence," New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa said.
According to the FBI, Chesimard poses a “supreme terror” threat to the United States.