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The Women’s March Tweeted Happy Birthday to an FBI “Most Wanted Terrorist”

Assata Shakur is on the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorists” list, after escaping a lifetime prison sentence she was serving for the killing of a cop. The Women’s March tweeted a “Happy birthday” on Sunday.

The official Twitter account for the Women’s March tweeted a happy birthday message to a convicted murderer and FBI “Most Wanted” terrorist on Sunday.

The message went out to @womensmarch’s 493,000 followers on Sunday afternoon:

The Women’s March Twitter account tweets out a #SignOfResistance on a daily basis, but this one is different than others for appearing to celebrate a woman who is believed to be in communist Cuba, avoiding extradition to the U.S.

Shakur is on the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorists” list, with a $1 million reward “for information directly leading to [her] apprehension.”

The FBI’s note of “Caution” is quite something:

Joanne Chesimard is wanted for escaping from prison in Clinton, New Jersey, while serving a life sentence for murder. On May 2, 1973, Chesimard, who was part of a revolutionary extremist organization known as the Black Liberation Army, and two accomplices were stopped for a motor vehicle violation on the New Jersey Turnpike by two troopers with the New Jersey State Police. At the time, Chesimard was wanted for her involvement in several felonies, including bank robbery. Chesimard and her accomplices opened fire on the troopers. One trooper was wounded and the other was shot and killed execution-style at point-blank range. Chesimard fled the scene, but was subsequently apprehended. One of her accomplices was killed in the shoot-out and the other was also apprehended and remains in jail.

In 1977, Chesimard was found guilty of first degree murder, assault and battery of a police officer, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault with intent to kill, illegal possession of a weapon, and armed robbery. She was sentenced to life in prison. On November 2, 1979, Chesimard escaped from prison and lived underground before being located in Cuba in 1984. She is thought to currently still be living in Cuba.

A more sympathetic profile of Shakur notes she was an activist before her sentence and is celebrated among some in the hip-hop community, but that doesn’t change the fact she is a wanted terrorist.

In fact, in that same profile – from The Guardian – FBI special agent Barbara Woodruff noted that “[e]ven though [Shakur] was convicted of one murder,” her organization took part “in at least 38 criminal incidents”:

“You have to look at the history of the BLA. Even though she was convicted of one murder, she was part of an organisation which, from the 1970s to 1984, were involved in at least 38 criminal incidents, including armed assaults, assassinations, bombings, hijackings – of those 38, 18 were against law enforcement officers.”

The Women’s March’s tweet in support of Shakur will be strange to some at best, alarming at worst.

In fact, CNN host Jake Tapper tweeted his alarm on Tuesday:

The Women’s March had responded on Monday night by asserting Shakur’s “resistance tactics” – read: terrorism and murder – “were different from ours.” “That does not mean that we do not respect her anti-sexism work,” they added.