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TitleTerrorism in America - Brent Smith
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Table of Contents
Title Page
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 - Terrorists in the Criminal Justice System: Political and Conceptual Problems
Chapter 2 - The Extent of Terrorism in America
Chapter 3 - Extremists Right and Left
Chapter 4 - The Righteous and the Extremists of the Right
Chapter 5 - Right-Wing Terrorists Try a Comeback
Chapter 6 - Leftist and Single-Issue Terrorism
Chapter 7 - International Terrorist Activity in America
Chapter 8 - Criminalizing Terrorism: Problems Without Easy Solutions
Chapter 9 - Punishing Terrorists
Chapter 10 - Dream On: Facts and Fantasies about American Terrorism
Document Text Contents
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Terrorism in America

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ment buildings. On March 4, 1986 seven of the members were convicted and sentenced to prison terms from fifteen
to fifty-three years. 43 Soon after the trial, all eight members of the group were indicted in a federal court in
Massachusetts in 1987 in a three-count indictment charging them with seditious conspiracy and RICO violations.44
Black activist Richard Williams' trial eventually was separated from the remaining members, since he was not
charged with the RICO violations. He pled guilty in December 1987 to one count in exchange for a dismissal of the
other two counts, a prosecutor's recommendation that he receive no more than seven years imprisonment, and an
agreement that he would not serve as a government witness.45 Carol Manning also pled guilty and was sentenced to
five years imprisonment and fined $300,000.46

The remaining UFF members went to trial in January 1989. In scenes similar to those that characterized the trials of
M19CO members in Washington, D.C., and the NAFF in New York, leftist political rhetoric filled the air. Jay
Manning referred to the trial proceedings as "a zoo," demanding, "we are political prisoners, we demand political
lawyers . . . we've built up a certain momentum. We've presented our politics well . . . and the government is trying
to break up that momentum."47 Chaos marked the proceedings. Bomb threats postponed the trial on occasion.
William Kuntsler, the attorney chosen by the group to represent them, was ejected from the courtroom. Vocal
supporters regularly interrupted the trial. During the ten-month long trial, charges against Thomas Manning and
Jaan Laaman were dropped, and Barbara Curzi's trial was separated from the others. Finally, on November 27,
1989, the jury returned not-guilty verdicts on most of the counts. Two days later the judge declared a mistrial when
jurors said they were deadlocked on the remaining charges. All of the defendants, except Patricia Gros (who had
already served 3 1/2 years for harboring a fugitive and was now out on bail), were returned to prison as quickly as
possible so they wouldn't miss any more of their taxpayer provided college classes.48

Puerto Rican Terrorism

If the sheer volume of completed acts of terrorism is used as an indicator of the success of terrorist organizations,
the Puerto Rican groups would be judged the most successful American terrorists. During the latter half of the
1980s, Puerto Rican terrorists com-

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mitted over 60 percent of all completed acts of terrorism in the United States and Puerto Rico. 49 Although a
number of different Puerto Rican violent extremist groups exist, they share similar goals and ideological motives:
All reflect the nationalist-separatist goals of the major Puerto Rican terrorist groups and are opposed to perceived
U.S. imperialism and the American military presence in Puerto Rico. Marxist, pro-Communist ideology
characterizes the most violent of these organizations, and some of the groups maintain close ties to Cuba. The
Macheteros, for example, are strongly supported by members of the Marxist-Leninist Puerto Rican Socialist party,
which is led by Jose Mari Bras, a confidant of Fidel Castro.50

Although several groups have claimed responsibility for the acts of terrorism committed by Puerto Rican terrorists
during the past fifteen years, the overwhelming majority were committed by six different organizations:

the Armed Forces of National Liberation;

2. the Organization of Volunteers for the Puerto Rican Revolution;
3. Ejercito Popular Boricua–Macheteros;
4. the Armed Forces of Popular Resistance;
5. the Guerrilla Forces of Liberation;
6. the Pedro Albizu Campos Revolutionary Forces.

All six of these groups are politically leftist, strongly influenced by Castro's brand of Marxism-Leninism, and
advocate the separation of Puerto Rico from the United States with the creation of a socialist-communist
government to replace the present political structure. In addition, close ties exist among the groups, with some
members belonging to more than one. Consequently, a large number of the terrorist acts committed by Puerto Rican
terrorists involved joint operations among the groups.

Of these groups all but one are based in Puerto Rico. The FALN, unlike the others, operated on the continental
United States and conducted most of its bombings during the late 1970s in New York and Chicago. The FALN first
surfaced in 1974 and gained national prominence the following year with the bombing of the Fraunces Tavern in
New York City in which four persons were killed and fifty-four were wounded. During the next six years FALN
members committed over 100 bombings in the United

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30. Consequently, the comparisons control the effects of title, section, subsection, and A.O. (offense) codes by
comparing the sentences of defendants matching all of these variables.

31. Split sentences, in which the defendant receives a prison term of normally six months or less plus a specified
period of probation, were excluded from analysis.

32. Defendant Linda Evans' Memorandum in Aid of Sentencing at 13, United States v. Laura Whitehorn et al. (CR-
88-145), U.S. District Court, District of Columbia.

33. Marvin Wolfgang et al., The National Survey of Crime Severity (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing

34. See United States Sentencing Commission, United States Sentencing Commission: Annual Report, 1990
(Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1991).

35. Ibid., pp. 10–13.

36. Ibid., p. 13.

Chapter 10
Dream On: Facts and Fantasies about American Terrorism

1. See, for example, Marvin Wolfgang, Robert Figlio, and Thorsten Sellin, Delinquency in a Birth Cohort
(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982).

2. "Making it Stick," U.S. News & World Report, 12 September 1988, p. 34.

3. Prosecutions of FALN members in Chicago and New York during the late 1970s and early 1980s are an
exception to this general finding.

4. See Tony Poveda's discussion of the "adequacy of terrorism resources," pp. 129–132 in Lawlessness and
Reform: The FBI in Transition (Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole, 1990).

5. See Chapter 8, table 1, first and last columns.

6. See, for example, the federal judge's ruling in United States v. Laura Whitehorn et al. (CR-88-145), U.S. District
Court, District of Columbia.

7. Richard Lacayo, "Tower Terror," Time, 8 March 1993, pp. 25–35.

8. Ed Schafer, "FBI arrests alleged terrorists in Midwest," The Birmingham News, 2 April 1993, p. 5A.

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9. New York Times, 11 October 1991 (sec. A, p. 1, col. 2).

10. Jonathan Sidener, "Earth First! Divided by Second Thoughts," The Arizona Republic, 26 August 1990, p. A-1.

11. Sam Negri, "Earth First! Co-founder Quits," The Arizona Republic, 15 August 1990, p. B-1.

12. Jonathan Sidener, "Earth First! Divided by Second Thoughts," The Arizona Republic, 26 August 1990, p. A-4.

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