United Freedom Front (UFF)
The Sam Melville-Jonathan Jackson Unit (SMJJU) was responsible for seven bombings and one attempted bombing from April 1976 to February 1979. The United Freedom Front (UFF) claimed responsibility for ten bombings and one attempted bombing between December 1982 and September 1984. Targets of the SMJJU and UFF include both military and corporate properties. Motivation for the bombings, according to communiques received, include protesting American imperialism, exploitation, and/or militarism in Central America, and protesting South African apartheid policies. FBI investigation indicated that both groups are made up of common membership. Individuals associated with these groups were identified through FBI investigation as having participated in at least two bank robberies in the state of Virginia.
The radical left based much of its philosophy on the teachings of such historical revolutionaries as Karl Marx, Lenin, and Chairman Mao. They perceive that many ills exist in the United States, both socially and politically, which they blamed on the US Government. They also viewed the Government as being capitalistic, militaristic, and imperialistic.
The solution, according to the radicals, was to destroy the cause of these problems - the system - by any means neccessary. A violent popular uprising, a revolution, must occur. They realize, however, that they cannot accomplish this alone. The New Left Movement advocated violent revolution, as opposed to nonviolent change by working within the system.
To this end, the radicals, who often viewed themselves as urban guerrillas, instituted an armed campaign against the state. These philosophies were little different from those espoused by the leftist groups of the 1960's and 1970's. These radicals chose symbolic targets for their attacks - millitary facilities, corporate establishments, or the U.S. Capitol Building. Through communiques, New Left groups claimed credit for attacks, as well as provided reasons for them, thus delivering a message to the American people: Opposition to South African apartheid policies and to American corporate and governmental support of that regime, opposition to American military presence in Latin America, opposition to American corporate exploitation in Southern Africa and other parts of the world, etc.
There was little difference between these demands and those of the 1970's. The reasons for the attacks basically remained the same; only the names and places changed.
In late 1981 law enforcement began to refocus its thinking on domestic terrorism because of one event. On October 20, 1981, a Brinks Armored Car Service truck was robbed of more than $1.5 million at a bank in Nanuet, NY. A Brinks guard was killed and another wounded during the robbery. Participants in this crime included black males, who actually committed the robbery, and white males and females, who acted in support roles. Groups such as the May 19th Communist Organization and the Republic of New Afrika were associated with the events of October 20, 1981.
The New Left terrorist organization most active in the US during the 1980's was the United Freedom Front (UFF). This group, which was organized in early 1981, claimed responsibility for 10 bombings and 1 attempted bombing between December 1982, and September 1984. The UFF was comprised of four white males and three white females. A black male was also a member of the group, prior to the onset of its bombing campaign. All of the UFF members had ties to radical movements of the 1960's and 1970's. Several members were also engaged in armed attacks against the system during the 1970's.
In addition to the bombings, UFF members were implicated in and/or convicted of other criminal acts, including the murder of a New Jersey State policeman in December 1981, and the attempted murders of two Massachusetts State policemen in February 1982. The group also reportedly committed armed bank robberies from Connecticut to Virginia to sustain themselves.
They lived under a variety of false identities and usually resided in rural areas, moving regularly. Prior to a criminal act - a bombing or a robbery - group members conducted lengthy and extensive surveillances of the target and surrounding areas. There are no indicaiions that the UFF was connected to other leftist terrorist or extremist groups, except through ideology.
This group emerged on May 12, 1983, when it claimed responsibility for a bombing. Through its communiques and telephone calls, the UFF states it opposes United States involvement in Central America.
On May 12, 1983, at approximately 10:30 p.m., an unknown female called the Middle Earth Crisis, Uniondale, New York, and advised a bomb was going to detonate at the Army Reserve Center, Uniondale, New York, in twenty-five minutes, and the Hempstead Police should be notified. At approximately 10:52 p.m., an unknown female called a Dunkin Doughnut store located near the Army Reserve Center and instructed the person answering to keep everyone away from the Army Reserve Center because a bomb was about to explode. At approximately 11:00 p.m., Nassau County Police arrived at the Army Reserve Center as the bomb exploded causing extensive glass and structural damage to the building.
On May 13, 1983, at approximately 12:21 a.m., an explosion occurred at the Naval Reserve Center, Queens, New York, causing minimal damage. It was reported by a female caller living in the vicinity who heard the noise of the blast. Due to the similarity in the device used, this bombing was attributed to the UFF.
On August 21, 1983, at 10:27 p.m., a bomb detonated outside on the west side of the National Guard Armory, Bronx, New York, causing extensive damage. "The New York Times" received an anonymous call which stated the UFF was responsible for the bombing and gave the location of a communique which was later recovered.
On December 13, 1983, at approximately 11:35 a.m., a call was received by an office of the Navy District Recruiting center located at 1975 Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow, New York. The caller stated that three bombs were located in the building and that the occupants had twenty minutes to evacuate. At 11:39 a.m., the Nassau County police Department responded to the scene and discovered two black breifcases (a third could not be located). Bomb blankets were placed over both briefcases and the building was evacuated. At 11:48 a.m., both devices exploded; however, no one was injured.
At 11:37 a.m., a call was received by "News Day," a Nassau County newspaper, and a second call was received at 11:58 a.m. by united Press International (UPI). Both callers, identifying themselves as members of the UFF, claimed responsibility for the bombing. Based on information provided in the UPI telephone call, a three-page communique was located. It contained statements of support for various Central American leftist groups as well as "all progressive organizations and individuals opposing united states involvement in Central America."
On December 14, 1983, at approximately 11:30 p.m., UPI, New York, received a telephone call from an unknown male who stated that two live bombs were located in front of the offices of Honeywell, Inc., Queens, New York. These bombs were placed to protest the united States involvement in Central America. The caller advised that the devices would detonate within fifteen minutes (11:45 p.m.) and provided the location of a communique. The New York police Department Bomb Disposal group, an FBI Headquarters bomb technician, and the New York Office Terrorist Task Force immediately responded to the Honeywell, Inc., offices (which were unoccupied) and discovered what appeared to be two attache cases, one of which contained the markings "bomb."
At approximately midnight, a second call was received by UPI in which an unknown male advised "we" hit Honeywell. On December 15, 1983, at approximately 4:30 a.m., the suspected devices were removed from the front of the building and placed into a truck and, thereafter, relocated to a detonation range located at Rodman's Neck, Bronx, New York.
After examination by bomb squad and FBI Laboratory personnel, it was determined that only one attache case contained an Improvised Explosive Device which was rendered safe. The other attache case marked "bomb" contained an UFF communique. Another UFF communique, claiming responsibility for the attempted bombing, was located in a mailbox in Manhattan.
On January 29, 1984, at approximately 10 p.m., an explosion occurred, preceded by two warning calls, at the Motorola Corporation, New York, New York. The callets stated that all employees should evacuate through the rear exit. Three separate UFF communiques were recovered from the Motorola grounds. In addition to rhetoric concerning United States imperialism in Central and South America, the Puerto Rican Independence Movement and South African apartheid policy, the communiques stated that Motorola was chosen because it was a defense contractor.
On March 19, 1984, at approximately 10:43 p.m., a bomb exploded causing extensive damage to the IBM building located in Harrison, New York. The bombing was preceded by two warning calls. A UFF communique was found at the scene. A summary of the communique stated that IBM was guilty of crimes against the people of South Africa through the sales of computer parts to the Government of South Africa.
On August 22, 1984, a bombing occurred at approximately noon at the offices of General Electric Corporation, at Melville, New York. There was substantial damage to the property. The bombing was claimed by the UFF through a series of warning calls and typewritten communiques bearing the UFF logo. Following receipt of the warning calls, the building was safely evacuated, and detonation occurred approximately 25 minutes later. The UFF communiques set forth rhetoric concerning United States military intervention in El Salvador and elsewhere and also cited General Electric as the fourth largest military contractor in the United States, and the second largest in the state of New York.
On September 26, 1984, at approximately 9:30 p.m., a bomb detonated at Union Carbide Corporation, Mount Pleasant, New York, causing extensive structural damage. Two warning calls were received, enabling successful evacuation of the facility prior to detonation. A UFF communique was found on the scene which primarily focused on criticism of the racist policies of South Africa.
Following intense Investigation, five of the UFF members were located and arrested in the Cleveland, OH, area. On November 4, 1984, arrests were made of FBI fugitives and their associates in the Cleveland, Ohio, area. Those arrested included Raymond Luc Levasseur, an FBI Top Ten Fugitive; his wife, Patricia Gros; Richard Charles Williams; Jaan Karl Laaman; and his girlfriend, Barbara Curzi. Among the materials seized, during searches of the subjects' residences, were original UFF communiques and bomb components similar to those recovered at UFF bombing sites.
The remaining two members were arrested in Norfolk, VA, during April 1985. Automatic shoulder weapons, handguns, bombing components, and communiques were found in the group's safehouses. Trials were held in New York and Massachusetts and convictions were handed down.
In addition to the UFF, other New Left groups were actively engaged in bombings between 1983, and 1988. These included the Red Guerrilla Resistance (four bombings), the Armed Resistance Unit (three bombings), and the Revolutionary Fighting Group (one bombing). Although the identities of all group members are not known, all three groups may be one and the same. Several other New Left organizations active during the 1980's were the Prairie Fire Organizing Committee (PFOC) and the May 19th Communist Organization (M19CO).
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|