In 2013, the FBI placed Black revolutionary and political activist Assata Shakur on the list of Most Wanted Terrorists. Shakur was the first woman ever placed on the list and is wanted for the killing of a New Jersey state trooper in 1973.
What placed Shakur on this list were her activities in the Black Liberation Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. She was an active member of the Black Liberation Army who fought the racist violence of the police and FBI during that time period. Her story and name have been mentioned by top rappers such as Chuck D, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Pharoahe Monch, Common and Cee Lo. Shakur is now 67 and has been living in Cuba for almost 40 years, after being granted political asylum by Cuban President Fidel Castro. But now there is concern that the United States will put pressure on Cuba to extradite Shakur back to the U.S. for trial and prosecution for her alleged crimes of murder, bank robbery and domestic terrorism. There have already been confirmed prisoner exchanges of spies from both countries and the lifting of the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba is critical to the island nation.
Cuban-born American citizens are split regarding the major policy shift on Cuba. But none more than U.S. Rep. Albio Sires, who issued a written statement that reads in part:
“While I am relieved that Mr. Gross will finally be home with his family, I would be remiss not to wonder how the family of murdered New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster feels as his killer, Joanne Chesimard, still roams freely in Cuba. Chesimard [a.k.a. Assata Shakur] is currently listed by the FBI as the number one most wanted terrorist and has been enjoying political asylum in Cuba for 30 years.”
Shakur is on the same Most Wanted List as members of Al-Qaida, ISIS and Boko Haram for her activities some 40 years ago. The FBI stated in 2013 that Shakur “Openly and freely in Cuba she continues to maintain and promote her terrorist ideology. She provides anti-U.S. government speeches espousing the Black Liberation Army message of revolution and terrorism … Joanne Chesimard is a domestic terrorist.”
Her story can be viewed below: