The FBI has redefined terrorism by placing Tupac’s aunt – known as Assata Shakur – on the top ten “Most Wanted Terrorists” list.

Shakur, who the FBI refers to as Joanne Chesimard, was a member of the Black Liberation Army in the 1970s.

She was convicted of killing a policeman after being stopped for an alleged traffic violation by a New Jersey State trooper. It is also claimed that she committed armed robbery and other crimes when she was stopped.

However, Shakur has always maintained her innocence and said in her autobiography called: Assata: An Autobiography, that she was framed by the police following a COINTELPRO (counter-intelligence programme) operation against activists and human rights campaigners which was in force at the time.

This is the same programme which targeted activists such as Martin Luther King and considered him a threat against national security in the US.

She escaped from jail in 1973 where she was serving a life sentence following her conviction, and has resided in Cuba ever since. Cuba has no extradition agreement with the United States. The Cuban government has consistently refused to extradite her.

The FBI and state of New Jersey are offering a $2 million (£1.3m) reward for information leading to her capture, which remains unlikely given the absence of a US extradition agreement with its communist neighbour.

Although Shakur is no longer considered a threat, she has been listed as a domestic terrorist and is the first woman to have been placed on the list.

However the FBI said that she still continues to advocate “revolution and terrorism” although they did not state how this conclusion was reached.

But her inclusion on the top ten hitlist is odd for many reasons.

Firstly, the alleged murder of the New York State Trooper occurred over 40 years ago. The re-labelling of this alleged “murder” as terrorism is strange and shows a willingness to escalate. While the murder of anyone can never be condoned, if that in itself were a definition of terrorism that would effectively mean that anybody convicted of murder is also a terrorist.

Terrorism is defined as the unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organised group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.

But as someone who claims to have acted in self-defence against proven harassment and physical assaults by a deeply racist police force, it really raises questions over the sudden decision of the state to redefine her alleged actions – all of a sudden – as terrorism. It is also more than a little curious as to why an elderly, 65 year old woman who the FBI acknowledged is clearly no longer at risk of harming anyone, would suddenly be touted as a terrorist.

It raises questions about who else might be labeled a “terrorist” according to FBI criteria.

Unlike Angela Davis, Twymon Myers, H. Rap Brown and others who made it onto the bureau’s crime list charged with the same crimes – and then later cleared – Shakur is being placed on a terror list alongside Al Qaeda and Taliban members.

I have included a video interview about her story since it gives important insights into the case.

 It is also interesting that her inclusion on the Most Wanted list came in the wake of the Boston bombings, which were arguably much worse – and most importantly, proven – crimes.

Supporters of Shakur claim that not only does the forensic evidence produced by the authorities fail to implicate Shakur in the crimes she was accused of, but the gunshot wounds to her shoulders and hands which was caused by the police, left her unable to raise her hand – let alone a gun.

No arsenic residue was found on her clothing or hands, which raises further questions over her conviction which took place during the height of segregation in the 60s.

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