How is Assata Shakur a terrorist? And why now?

She’s No Terrorist: The Bizarre Move By The FBI Against Assata Shakur
A cynical pawn to move a more diabolical agenda
Bill Fletcher, Jr.
May 9, 2013

Seemingly out of nowhere the FBI announced that fugitive Black activist Assata Shakur was now declared a “terrorist” on their Most Wanted list. In addition, a bounty for her capture was raised from $1 million to $2 million. There are several questions that immediately arise but the most important is perhaps this: why now?

Assata Shakur, known earlier as Joanne Chesimard, was a leading member of the Black Panther Party.

Following the split in the Panthers in 1971 she became involved with the Black Liberation Army, an organization that saw itself as the military wing of the Black Freedom Movement. In 1973 Assata Shakur was in a car that was stopped by the police on the New Jersey Turnpike. A shootout took place during which she was wounded, a comrade of hers was killed along with a police officer. After several very controversial trials covering various allegations against her, Assata was ultimately convicted of murder and assault in connection with the Turnpike shootout, despite evidence of her innocence. In 1979 she escaped prison and fled to Cuba where she was granted political asylum. She has lived there ever since.

Assata Shakur has lived in relative silence, only periodically offering interviews. The Black Liberation Army was crushed, and in either case never engaged in military attacks on civilians. The Cuban government saw in Assata’s case that of an individual who was politically persecuted by the United States government and, therefore, concluded that she had a legitimate right to remain in Cuba and not be forced to return to prison.

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