Bill Ayers, the Weather Underground bombmaker, celebrated Tuesday after his old Chicago friend Barack Obama commuted the federal prison sentence of Oscar López Rivera, another bombmaking terrorist.
Rivera was sentenced to 55 years in prison in 1981 on charges of seditious conspiracy, robbery, and transportation of firearms and explosives charges.
He was a member of the Marxist Puerto Rican nationalist group Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional, or FALN. The group carried out around 130 bombings across the U.S. from the mid-1970s to early-1980s, killing six people and injuring dozens more.
FALN’s most notorious attack was carried out in 1975 at the Francous Tavern in Manhattan. Four people were killed in the bombing.
According to The New York Daily News, police found six pounds of dynamite and blasting caps in Rivera’s Chicago apartment when he was arrested in 1981. He was slapped with a separate 15 year sentence in 1988 after he plotted to use explosives to break out of jail in 1988.
Bill Clinton offered to grant clemency to Rivera along with 15 other FALN members in 1999, despite the group’s use of violence. Clinton said that he felt that the terrorists’ sentences were too harsh given their crimes. But Rivera refused to comply with one of Clinton’s conditions, which was to disavow the use of terrorism.
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