County Court Writes A $15,000 Check To One Of The FBI’s ‘Most Wanted Terrorists’ 2

FILE – In this April 25, 1977, file photo, Joanne Chesimard, member of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army, leaves Middlesex County courthouse in New Brunswick, N.J. Now known as Assata Shakur, Chesimard was convicted in 1977 of killing a New Jersey state trooper four years earlier, and was sentenced to life in prison but escaped and wound up in Cuba in the 1980s, where she continues to reside. AP Photo, File

By Camila Molina, cmolina@newsobserver.com

A county in North Carolina wrote a $15,000 check to Assata Shakur, also known as Joanne Deborah Chesimard, a woman whom the U.S. government has identified as a convicted murderer, fugitive and domestic terrorist.

Shakur was a prominent member of the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army.

In the 1970s, Shakur was convicted for the murder of a New Jersey state trooper. Shakur escaped prison in 1979 and lived underground for the next five years, according to Vice.

In 1985 she fled to Cuba, where she received political asylum and continues to live today. In 2013, The FBI identified her as one of the agency’s “Most Wanted Terrorists,” offering $1 million and an additional $1 million offered by the state of New Jersey for information leading to her capture and return to the U.S.

So why would New Hanover County, a coastal community in North Carolina, write a check to one of the federal government’s top priority fugitives?

Shakur is one of the last Freeman family descendants sought by a private company that has purchased land near Freeman Park in Carolina Beach, North Carolina, Port City Daily reported. The Superior Court of New Hanover helped negotiate a selling price for the Freeman descendants and held the company’s payment to be given to the heirs.

A superior court judge signed a court order saying it was not aware of a legal reason to withhold the payment from Shakur, the daily reported, and on April 3 the Superior Court Clerk of New Hanover County wrote a check to Shakur for $15,351.39.

Although the land deal began more than 10 years ago, the sale was delayed until this April because at first Shakur’s whereabouts was unknown, and there were multiple attempts to contact some of her family members, based on court documents the daily reviewed.

Shakur made at least one appearance in the U.S. for the land deal in May 2015 when she went to Manhattan to sign a power of attorney to her sister Beverly Goins.

By August 2017, the same attorney who represented her during her murder trial began the process to secure the company’s payment through her sister.

The FBI and the Office of the U.S. Attorney are investigating whether any laws were broken during the deal, the daily reported.

She’s the first woman on the FBI’s most wanted list and is still being sought.

 

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The American Fugitives of Havana 2

Assata Shakur - the former Joanne Chesimard.

Assata Shakur – the former Joanne Chesimard.

By Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker

When a cold war winds down, what happens to its spies and traitors? The British double agents Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, and Donald Maclean were able to see out their days in Moscow while it was still ruled by Communists, without fears that their hosts might betray them and send them back to an unforgiving Great Britain.

Other scenarios, such as that of the United States and Cuba, are more complicated. On December 17, 2014, the same day that the United States and Cuba announced the restoration of diplomatic relations, an exchange of long-imprisoned spies and double agents also took place. Three Cuban sleeper agents who had been imprisoned in the U.S. since 1998 were released from U.S. federal prisons and flown home. Simultaneously, Rolando Sarraff Trujillo, a C.I.A. double agent who had been held in a Cuban prison since 1995, was flown to the U.S., as was Alan Gross, a State Department contractor who was arrested in 2009 for smuggling Internet equipment onto the island for dissident groups.

But the fates of many fugitive citizens who were given refuge in the United States or Cuba remain in limbo. Among them are people sought back home for crimes including murder, kidnapping, bank robbery, and terrorism. Curious about such people, I recently asked an American official what prevented the U.S. government from arresting, and possibly extraditing, Luis Posada Carriles, an eighty-eight-year-old Cuban exile living in Florida, on terrorism charges.

Posada, a former C.I.A. operative who spent most of the past half century involved in efforts to violently destabilize the Castro government, has been on the top of Cuba’s most-wanted list for decades. I ticked off the long list of his alleged crimes—most notably, the bombing of Cubana de Aviación Flight 455, in 1976, which killed all seventy-three passengers onboard, and a number of bombings and assassination attempts across the Western Hemisphere. As recently as 1997, Posada admitted to planning the bombing of a Havana hotel, which killed an Italian tourist.

The official listened calmly, nodding his head as I spoke. Eventually, he told me, “The complication is that Cuba is also harboring people that the United States would like to see face justice back home.” He mentioned Joanne Chesimard, who goes by the name Assata Shakur, the aunt of the late rapper Tupac Shakur and a former member of the Black Liberation Army, a short-lived offshoot of the Black Panther Party that was devoted to armed struggle.

Shakur, a native New Yorker, has been living in Cuba since 1984. She arrived there after several years on the lam, following her escape from a prison in New Jersey, where she was serving a life sentence for the 1973 murder of a U.S. state trooper. (She was also tried for but not convicted of crimes including bank robbery, kidnapping, and other murders.) Shakur was granted political asylum in Cuba, where she was given a job and a home. She is now sixty-nine, remains on the F.B.I.’s Most Wanted list, and is the undisputed doyenne of the estimated seventy-odd American fugitives living in Cuba. Her 1987 memoir, “Assata: An Autobiography,” whose cover features a photograph of her looking over her shoulder at the camera, can be found in many of Havana’s state-run bookstores, alongside books about Che Guevara and Fidel Castro.

Most of the American fugitives in Cuba are radicals of Shakur’s era. Charlie Hill, who is in his mid-sixties, was a member of a militant group called the Republic of New Afrika, which sought to create an independent black nation in the American South. Hill was accused, with two comrades, of killing a policeman in New Mexico in 1971. Several weeks later, the three men hijacked a passenger plane to Cuba, where they were granted asylum. Both of Hill’s comrades have died, but he remains in Havana. And there is the Columbia University graduate Cheri Dalton, who goes by Nehanda Abiodun, also a veteran of the Republic of New Afrika. Abiodun is sought for her involvement in the armed robbery of a Brink’s armored truck in New York in 1981, in which two policemen and a security guard were killed. She is also thought to have helped Shakur break out of prison. Abiodun, who either fled to Cuba with Shakur or followed shortly after, has reinvented herself there as a mentor to rap artists.

Feature continues here: Cuban Safe Haven

U.S. Rules Out Swap of Jailed Cuban Spy Ana Belen Montes 3

Mugshot_of_DIA_s_Ana_5_1_IH64TF61_L166332774By NORA GÁMEZ TORRES, ngameztorres@elnuevoherald.com

The Obama administration “has no intention” of releasing or swapping jailed Cuban spy Ana Belen Montes, according to a letter sent by the U.S. Department of State to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

The Aug. 19 letter, obtained by el Nuevo Herald, followed a number of news reports pointing to the possibility of freeing Montes — a top Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) analyst on Cuban affairs who is serving a 25-year prison sentence — in exchange for Cuba handing over American fugitive Assata Shakur, formerly known as Joanne Chesimard.

The letter, addressed to committee chairman U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., says the State Department “want(s) to assure you that the United States government has no intention of releasing or exchanging Montes.”

Nunes had written to Obama on July 12 urging the president not to release or swap Montes, calling her “one of the most brazen traitors in U.S. history.” The State Department wrote that it was “responding on the president’s behalf.”

Montes, one of the top foreign spies captured in recent years, authored some of the key U.S. intelligence assessments on Cuba. She was arrested in 2001 and was sentenced in 2002 after she pleaded guilty to spying for Cuba throughout her 16 years at the DIA.

Montes was — and remains — unrepentant. She betrayed the public trust, the security of the United States and her oath to support and defend the constitution while remaining loyal to the Castro brothers in Havana,” Nunes wrote. “Ana Belen Montes richly deserved her 25-year prison sentence, and must serve every day of it.”

“She betrayed the public trust, the security of the United States and her oath to support and defend the constitution while remaining loyal to the Castro brothers in Havana” — U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif.

Montes, who is of Puerto Rican descent, declared in a 2015 interview with the blog Cayo Hueso, which supports the Cuban government, that she has not changed. “I will not be silenced. My commitment to the island cannot be ignored,” she was quoted as saying.

Nunes’ letter noted that because of her senior post at DIA, Montes has compromised every single U.S. intelligence collection program that targeted Cuba, revealed the identity of four covert U.S. intelligence agents who traveled to Cuba and provided Havana with information that could have wound up in the hands of other U.S. enemies.

“In short, Montes was one of the most damaging spies in the annals of American intelligence,” the committee chairman wrote.

Article continues here:  No Deal For Montes

 

Is Clinton responsible for NJ cop-killer’s Chesimard’s freedom? The facts and history Reply

By Louis C. Hochman, New Jersey 101.5

Above: Joanne Chesimard was added to the FBI’s Most Wanted List in 2013.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie took the stage at the Republican National Convention Tuesday prepared to attack.

He presented a seething indictment of former Secretary of State and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton — holding her to account for everything from Boko Haram’s abduction of more than 200 girls to the bloody civil war in Syria that’s cost more then 400,000 lives.

Fact-checkers have been giving the allegations a mixed rating — the consensus is most of Christie’s statements had at least some truth, but some were missing important context.

For instance: Clinton’s State Department did hold off on naming Boko Haram a terrorist organization, but as part of a strategy it hoped would more successfully curb the group’s activities without lending it credibility in the region, and while putting many of its leaders on terror lists. The State Department eventually named Boko Haram a terrorist organization in late 2013, several months after Clinton’s tenure as secretary ended.

But perhaps the most striking allegation for New Jersey residents — that Clinton, in effect, “rewarded” the convicted murderer of a New Jersey State Trooper with safety in Cuba.

Read More: Is Clinton responsible for NJ cop-killer’s Chesimard’s freedom? The facts and history

US Fugitives Say Cuba Has Reassured Them They Are Safe 3

Cop-Killer Charles Hill

Cop-Killer Charles Hill

By The Associated Press

HAVANA — Two American fugitives who fled to Cuba after they were accused of killing police officers said Friday that Cuban officials have assured them that détente with the United States will not lead to their extradition.

The United States and Cuba held a second round of law-enforcement talks last month dedicated partly to resolving the fate of scores of fugitives after more than a half century with almost no cooperation. The talks are part of a series of U.S.-Cuba negotiations aimed at normalizing relations after the two countries declared an official end to Cold War hostilities on Dec. 17, 2014.

The discussions have raised U.S. law enforcement hopes that fugitives living in Cuba for decades will return to the United States to face trial or serve prison under plea deals.

Charles Hill, a black militant wanted in the 1971 slaying of a New Mexico state policeman, told The Associated Press that Cuban government contacts had recently reassured him he was at no risk of extradition. Nehanda Abiodun, another black militant wanted in a 1981 armored car robbery that left two police offers and a security guard dead, told the AP she had recently received a similar promise.

Cuba is home to dozens of people wanted in the United States on charges ranging from Medicare fraud to killings committed in the name of black and Puerto Rican revolution movements in the 1970s and ’80s. Cuba has asked the United States to return a smaller number of people, including Luis Posada Carriles, the alleged mastermind of a series of terror attacks against Cuba, including the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed all 73 people on board.

Cuba’s head of U.S. affairs told the AP shortly after the declaration of détente that Cuba was entitled to grant asylum to U.S. fugitives, a sign that people the country once saw as fellow revolutionary fighters will remain safe. The most prominent is Assata Shakur, who is on the FBI’s list of most-wanted terrorists. She broke out of a prison where she was serving a conviction for murdering a New Jersey state trooper. She was regularly spotted in Havana after fleeing to Cuba but has not been seen here in public in recent years.

Hill said he had contacted his Cuban government handlers about three weeks ago after seeing reports that progress was being made in negotiations that could lead to his extradition.

“My people assured me that no, that’s not going to take place,” Hill said. “I said what’s the status and they said there’s no problem.

“The future is very difficult,” he said. “I don’t know, but I think the Cuban government is going to maintain their position. I feel very tranquil.”

Feature continues here:  Cuba to Remain Terrorist Safe Haven

 

 

 

Swapping Cuban Spy For American Cop Killer A Non-Starter 1

Senator Marco Rubio

Senator Marco Rubio

By Marco Rubio, Sunshine State News

With reports that the U.S. government and Cuban regime have discussed the possibility of releasing convicted Cuban spy Ana Belen Montes in exchange for Joanne Chesimard, who killed a New Jersey police officer and has been living in Cuba for decades, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., expressed his firm opposition to the idea this week:

‎Ana Belen Montes is one of the most hardened and unrepentant spies ever captured and convicted by the United States government. Over an extended period of time, Belen Montes repeatedly compromised our national security and endangered American lives.

Were it not for the courageous actions of federal law enforcement and counter-espionage agents, there is no telling how much damage Belen Montes could have wrought on our national security. Releasing her from prison for any reason is a non-starter, but the notion that she would be given her freedom in exchange for a convicted cop killer would be an even greater outrage to the victims of both Ana Belen Montes and Joanne Chesimard.

The Obama administration at every level should unequivocally take this possibility off the negotiating table and make clear to the Castro regime that it will never happen.

It is crazy that something like this even needs to be said, but as we have seen with the Obama administration time and time again, nothing is outside the realm of possibility. Whether releasing terrorists from GITMO or the Cuban spies it has already released, the Obama administration has shown a reckless approach to one-sided prisoner swaps that endanger America’s security and send a message that our justice system can be circumvented for the right price or the right short-sighted political goal.

Ana Belen Montes deserves to serve every single day of her sentence in a federal prison, and Joanne Chesimard should join her soon, and the Obama administration should restate their commitment to both of these goals and they should do it soon.

U.S. Sen .Marco Rubio, R-Fla., was first elected to the Senate in 2010

Cuba Denies US Reports of Prisoner Exchange 4

Telesur archive.jpg_1718483346

Cop Killer Assata Shakur

US Media Claim Cuba Could Extradite Assata Shakur, Despite All Evidence to the Contrary

Published 6 June 2016, TeleSUR English

Assata Shakur, the first woman to be put on the FBI’s most wanted terrorist list, is falsely claimed to be included in a prisoner swap program between the U.S. and Cuba.

News outlets in the United States have published speculative reports over the past couple of days suggesting Cuba is willing to exchange Assata Shakur in a prison swap deal with the U.S.

Assata Shakur, formerly called Joanne Chesimard, is a Queens-born activist who belonged to the Black Liberation Army.

She escaped prison two years after being convicted of the alleged murder of state trooper Werner Foerster in 1977 during a gunfight – a crime she has always denied.

In the mid-1980s, then Cuban President Fidel Castro granted her asylum on the island.

Shortly after Washington announced its normalization of relations with Cuba, state authorities in New Jersey expressed their hope that Havana would extradite the former Black Panther to U.S. soil. 

“We view any changes in relations with Cuba as an opportunity to bring her back to the United States to finish her sentence for the murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster in 1973,” said Col. Rick Fuentes, head of the state’s largest law enforcement agency.

However, the Cuban government has repeatedly refused to extradite the aunt of Tupac Shakur, angering U.S. conservatives.

Article continues here:  TeleSUR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Havana Wants Prisoner Swap For American Spy Who Helped FMLN Guerrillas Kill 65 in El Salvador, including an American “Green Beret” 1

“Green Beret” Gregory A. Fronius

“Green Beret” Gregory A. Fronius

Cuba Wants Convicted Spy Released in U.S. Prisoner Swap

by Pete Williams and William M. Arkin

Cuba and the United States are discussing possible exchanges of prisoners, including the release of a woman considered one of the most damaging spies in recent history, U.S. officials told NBC News.

The discussions, said to be in their early stages, are part of efforts by the two countries toward normalization of diplomatic relations.

Among the names floated by Cuban leaders, officials say, is Ana Montes, convicted in 2002 of spying for the Cuban government for nearly two decades while working for the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency.

Her espionage compromised many aspects of America’s efforts to spy on Cuba, “calling into question the reliability of all U.S. intelligence collected against Cuba,” according to Michelle Van Cleave, a former national counterintelligence executive.

While at the Defense Intelligence Agency, Montes became the top Cuban analyst. Investigators said she memorized classified information on the job, typed it on a laptop computer in the evenings at her apartment, stored it in coded form on disks, and passed the information to her Cuban handlers.

Montes was sentenced to 25 years in prison and is due to be released in 2023. For their part, American officials say the U.S. is interested in getting back Americans who sought refuge in Cuba from U.S. prosecution.

“Cuba has been a haven for U.S. fugitives,” said one federal law enforcement official.

Among those U.S. officials would like back is Joanne Chesimard, who escaped from a New Jersey prison in 1979 where she was serving a life sentence for killing a state trooper by shooting him with his own gun at a traffic stop.

The State Department declined to discuss specifics. But a spokesman said, “The United States continues to seek the return from Cuba of fugitives from U.S. justice. The Department repeatedly raises fugitive cases with the Cuban government and will continue to do so at every appropriate opportunity.”

“I don’t think the idea of a prisoner exchange is surprising,” author David Wise, who has written several books about espionage cases, said. “We’ve swapped with the Russians since the early days of the Cold War. It’s by no means unprecedented.”

Editor’s Note:  Cuban-Supported FMLN guerrillas killed 65 soldiers, including American “Green Beret” Gregory A. Fronius, in a single three-hour battle. The surprise attack on the El Paraiso camp occurred on April 1, 1987 – shortly after Castro spy Ana Montes visited the camp as part of a five-week familiarization visit to the (then) war-torn nation. Montes then shared numerous U.S. secrets with her handler – to include the precise time to attack — on a date she knew 75% of El Paraiso’s garrison would be away conducting counter-insurgency operations.

Interview With American Fugitive Charlie Hill — Cop Killer 1

Charles Hill, prófugo del FBI refugiado en La Habana hace más de cuarenta años / Foto: Yuris Nórido

Charles Hill, prófugo del FBI refugiado en La Habana hace más de cuarenta años / Foto: Yuris Nórido

Black on the hill, prófugo en La Habana

Por : Carlos Manuel Álvarez

Es la noche del 8 de noviembre de 1971, Albuquerque, Nuevo México, y el teniente Robert Rosenbloom va a morir. Tiene 28 años y es veterano de la US. Army. Sobre las once, el Ford Galaxie del 62, procedente de Oakland, pasa de largo por la Interestatal 40, varias millas al oeste, y Rosenbloom decide detenerlo. En el Ford, cargado con tres rifles militares, una escopeta calibre 12, literatura política, dinamita y granadas, viajan tres miembros de la República Nueva África (RNA): Masheo Sundiata, Antar Ra y Fela Olatunji.

La RNA es una organización política que básicamente pretende fundar una nación afroamericana en cinco estados del sur estadounidense: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia y Carolina del Sur. Rosenbloom probablemente pretenda algo menos ambicioso: asegurarse una detención exitosa.

Alrededor todo es desierto: algún que otro arbusto, alguna que otra sombra. Los tres hombres, que vienen huyendo de las autoridades, bajan del auto. Rosenbloom les pide que abran el maletero y Olatunji le dice que el maletero solo se abre en la estación. Rosenbloom les dice que lo sigan. Pero, evidente, nadie lo va a seguir. Alguien desenfunda un revolver calibre 45. Alguien jala el gatillo y la bala, letal, atraviesa la garganta del teniente. Olatunji se acerca, observa el elegante sombrero de Patrolman en el suelo, cómo crece el charco viscoso de sangre, y comprueba que no haya pulso. No lo hay.

Rosenbloom tiene dos hijos. Tammy, de tres años, y Robert, de dos recién cumplidos.

***

–Ahora tendrán unos cuarenta y tantos.

–Sí, yo estaba pensando el otro día en el varón. Pero si él no vino con veinte o con treinta, y se vistió de ranger y me mató, difícil que lo haga ahora.

Cuando Charles Hill conversa, lo hace con acento extraño. Confunde el género de los sustantivos y los adjetivos y tuerce las palabras, las marea, como si su lengua fuera un tornillo de banco que le doblara los eslabones al castellano.

–Quizás no lo haga él.

–Quizás. Hace poco, después de que subieran el precio por la cabeza de Assata, leí algunas conversaciones entre cazadores de recompensas, valorando la posibilidad de buscarla.

–¿Cómo leyó eso?

–No. No.

–¿Y usted tiene contacto con Assata?

artículo continúa aquí:  Black on the hill

 

Chris Christie Wants Cuba Flights Blocked Over Havana’s Sheltering of American Terrorist Reply

rewardChristie urges Port Authority to reject Newark-Cuba flights over cop-killer case

By Geoff Earle, New York Post

WASHINGTON – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is urging the Port Authority not to reopen direct flights between Newark and Havana because of Cuba’s continued harboring of convicted cop killer Joanne Chesimard.

“It is unacceptable to me to me as governor to have any flights between New Jersey and Cuba until and unless convicted cop killer and escaped fugitive Joanne Chesimard is returned to New Jersey to face justice,” Christie wrote in a letter to PA chief John Degnan obtained by The Post.

“I will not tolerate rewarding the Cuban government for continuing to harbor a fugitive,” he added.

Chesimard was convicted in 1977 of the brutal murder of New Jersey state trooper Werner Foerster in 1973 during a shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Officer James Harper was wounded in the melee.

Chesimard, also known as Assata Shakur, busted out of a New Jersey prison in 1979 and fled in 1984 to Cuba, where she was granted asylum. She was serving a life sentence, and escaped with armed accomplices.

Her continued sanctuary inside Cuba became an issue immediately after word broke of the new thaw in relations between Cuba and the US.

“We believe that the strong US interest in the return of these fugitives will be best served by entering into this dialogue with Cuba,” President Obama said this spring.

Feature continues here: Christie Pushes Back Against Cuba’s Continued Sheltering of American Terrorist