Robert Menendez

US Senator for New Jersey
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Menendez Applauds FBI Naming Joanne Chesimard as One of the Agency's Top 25 Most Wanted Terrorists

FBI decision follows Menendez 2012 letter of support for measures to help bring Chesimard to justice

May 2, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today applauded the FBI’s decision to name Joanne Chesimard, a.k.a. Assata Shakur, as one of the agency’s Top 25 most wanted terrorists and doubling the reward for her capture.

In May1973, Chesimard and two accomplices executed New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster during a routine traffic stop.  Although Chesimard was tried, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment, she escaped from a New Jersey prison on November 2, 1979 and is currently a fugitive in Cuba.

Last year, Senator Menendez wrote FBI Director Robert Mueller to express his strong support for adding Joanne Chesimard to the agency’s Top 25 Wanted Terrorists list, among other measures to bolster law enforcement efforts to bring her to justice.

“Forty years ago, Trooper Werner Foerster gave everything he could to serving the people of New Jersey, and we will always be in his debt,” said Senator Menendez. “The addition of this fugitive’s name to the FBI’s Top 25 Most Wanted Terrorists list sends the strong message that we will never abide nor forget the murder of a sworn officer of the law ­– no matter how much time passes, no matter where the culprit hides. Trooper Foerster, and any officer who gives their life in the line of duty, deserves nothing less than our best efforts to honor their sacrifice by bringing their killers to justice. I call on the Cuban regime to return Chesimard and other American fugitives from justice who have been given safe haven in Cuba.”

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