For the first time, the FBI has added a woman to its "Most Wanted Terrorists" list. There are a number of caveats that temper that benchmark, including that Joanne Chesimard's crime is probably not the sort of terrorism that you might assume.
On May 2, 1973, Chesimard and two others were driving through New Jersey when two state troopers pulled them over because of a broken tail light. There was a gunfight. A police officer and one of the men in Chesimard's car were killed; Chesimard and the other trooper were injured. After a brief chase, Chesimard was caught. In 1977, she was convicted of murder — and two years later, escaped from prison.
And with that, the first woman — an African-American from Queens — and the second domestic terrorist are added to the FBI's list of the most wanted terrorists in the world. Chesimard joins a group of 31 others. One, the other domestic terrorist, is an animal rights activist convicted of planting explosives in San Francisco. The other thirty are wanted for crimes like bombing U.S. embassies and working with Al Qaeda. Like the American Jihadi, Omar Hammami. Or Ayman Al-Zawahiri. Al-Zawahiri, the head of Al Qaeda, and Chesimard are among the FBI's most wanted terrorists. After all, the "Most Wanted Terrorists" list was created in October 2001, in an effort to capture 22 terrorists that were still at large from previous terror attacks. Osama bin Laden was included in that list — for the 1998 bombings of embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, not for the September 11 attacks.