New York (PIX11) — 65-year-old fugitive cop killer, Joanne Chesimard–now known as Assata Shakur–was added to the FBI’s “Most Wanted” Terrorist list Thursday. She is the first woman to make the list, the 46th person added since the list was started after the 9/11 terror attacks. The reward for her capture has been doubled to $2 million.
Chesimard’s name was added to the list on the 40th anniversary of the ambush execution of New Jersey state trooper, Werner Foerster. The trooper had stopped a car Chesimard was riding in with several associates on the New Jersey Turnpike, on May 2nd, 1973. At a press conference Thursday, Col. Rick Fuentes of the New Jersey State Police noted Foerster was shot twice, execution-style, in the head by Chesimard and her accomplices. Chesimard was wounded in the shoot-out, along with another state trooper, and one of her associates was killed.
She was a member of the Black Liberation Army, a radical separatist group that wanted to create its own nation separate from the United States for people of African heritage to have independent control over. The movement was violently active from 1970 to 1984, resulting in the murders of 16 law enforcement personnel across the nation, including four New York City police officers.
Chesimard was convicted for the New Jersey state trooper’s murder but made a daring escape from prison in 1979, with the help of BLA supporters and members of another, radical group, “The Weather Underground.” The coalition of extremist organizations came to be known as “the collective.”
Chesimard received safe haven in Cuba, sometime in the 1980’s. The FBI said Thursday Chesimard is a “domestic terrorist…who, while living in Cuba, promotes terrorist ideology.”