Joanne Chesimard added to FBI Most Wanted Terrorist list

Chesimard last surfaced in Cuba in 1984, seven years after the murder. Photo: FBI

For the first time ever, a woman has been added to the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist list.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is actively seeking the apprehension of Joanne Chesimard, a New Jersey woman who shot and killed a state police trooper in 1973.

Chesimard, who is believed to be living in Cuba under political asylum, is believed to be behind the execution-style murder of New Jersey State Police Trooper Werner Foerster. The trooper was killed on May 2, 1973 on the New Jersey Turnpike.

"This case is just as important today as it was when it happened 40 years ago," New Jersey State Police Lt. Mike Rinaldi said. "Bringing Joanne Chesimard back here to face justice is still a top priority," he said.

Beyond being the first woman added to the list, Chesimard is only the second domestic terrorist to be included in this FBI list.

At the time of the shooting, Chesimard was a member of the Black Liberation Army and was wanted on several charges. On the night of the shooting, she and two accomplices opened fire on law enforcement officials, including Forester, after being stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike. She then fled.

Chesimard wasn't taken into custody until 1977 and was subsequently convicted of first-degree murder and other crimes. However, less than two years later, she escaped and fled to Cuba, where she turned up in 1984.

"Armed domestic terrorists gained entry into the facility, neutralized the guards, broke her free, and turned her over to a nearby getaway team," Rinaldi said.

Chesimard now goes by the name Assata Shakur.