Ring of Anti-Abortion Terrorists Must be Brought to Justice
Justice will finally be served with today’s capture of accused murderer and anti-abortion extremist James Charles Kopp. Kopp has been on the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list for nearly 900 days, during which time pro-choice advocates and law enforcement has redoubled their efforts to ensure clinic safety and to pursue all leads to end terrorist acts. Let this serve as a warning to the organized ring of anti-abortion terrorists that we will persist, we will endure, and we will assure that they are brought to justice and their reign of terror will be definitively ended.
Kopp was accused of the October 1998 assassination of Amherst, NY abortion provider Dr. Barnett Slepian and suspected in New York and Canada for the shootings of four other abortion providers. He is widely traveled in anti-abortion circles, with 39 arrests across the country over at least 15 years and dozens of known aliases.
We believe that his ability to evade law enforcement for so long is attributable to a network of extremists, notably the ‘Army of God’, an underground terrorist group in which he is referred to by the nickname of ‘Atomic Dog.’ We hope, this time, not only will Kopp, but others in the extremist wing of the anti-abortion movement will also be brought to justice. Unless this organized and orchestrated ring of terrorists are brought to justice, we will proceed from violent event to violent event as we arrest extremists one by one. This time, the investigation must also reach, expose, and convict the financial backers, supporters and safe house sponsors, who have aided and abetted this fugitive.
Finally, we recognize and congratulate the tireless efforts of the FBI, Amherst Police, the New York State Police, and the Department of Justice Task Force on Violence Against Reproductive Health Care Facilities. We urge these officials to continue their investigation into the possibility that co-conspirators were involved. We trust that this will bring solace, despite the immeasurable loss, to Mrs. Lynne Slepian and the family of Dr. Slepian, his colleagues, and the pro-choice community at large.
Remaining anti-abortion fugitives include Eric Robert Rudolph of the FBI “Most Wanted” and Clayton Waagner of the ATF and US Marshals Service “Most Wanted” lists.
Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation, is available for interviews in Washington DC at 703-522-2214. The Feminist Majority Foundation runs the National Clinic Access Project, the nation’s largest and oldest clinic defense project and researches anti-abortion extremists and anti-abortion violence. Katherine Spillar, National Coordinator of the Feminist Majority Foundation, is also available for interviews on the West Coast at 323-651-0495.