This is not the kind of barrier-breaking people typically cheer: The FBI announced Thursday that it has added the first-ever woman to its list of Most Wanted Terrorists, where she joined the ranks of extremists such as al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri.
Joanne Chesimard—she may be using the name Assata Shakur—was convicted of several charges, including the murder of a New Jersey state trooper during a May 1973 traffic stop. She was sentenced to life in prison, but escaped and ultimately surfaced in 1984 in Cuba, where she received asylum, the FBI said in a statement.
The FBI has offered a reward of up to $1 million for information leading to her arrest. The state of New Jersey has independently offered another $1 million.
The State Department lists Cuba among state sponsors of terrorism, along with Iran, Sudan and Syria. Critics of the designation, which dates back to 1982, say it reflects Cold War-era opposition to Fidel Castro more than any ongoing support for violent extremism. The State Department says Cuba has harbored members of the Basque separatist group ETA.
While the department does not list Chesimard’s case specifically, the country listing for Cuba says the Castro government "continued to permit fugitives wanted in the United States to reside in Cuba and also provided support such as housing, food ration books, and medical care for these individuals."