Encyclopedia of Modern Worldwide Extremists and Extremist Groups

By Stephen E. Atkins | Go to book overview

U

Unabomber (See Kaczynski, Theodore John “Ted”)

United Freedom Front (UFF)

The United Freedom Front (UFF) was the most active left-wing radical extremist group in the decade from 1975 to 1985. Raymond Luc Levasseur was the leader of this small Marxist group, which was formed by former members of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Levasseur was a Vietnam veteran, who had spent two years in a Tennessee prison for drug dealing. After his release from prison, he attended the University of Maine and majored in political science. While in school, he joined the Maine chapter of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. By the early 1970s, he and his wife, Patricia Gros, and Thomas and Carole Manning had formed a prison reform group, the Sam Melville-Jonathan Jackson Unit, named after two prisoners who had been killed in prison. This small group started engaging in direct action against selected targets to destabilize the government.

The United Freedom Front was formed in 1975 to carry out an urban guerrilla campaign against the U.S. government. Seven members of the UFF committed nineteen bombings, ten bank robberies, and one murder over the next decade. Another husband and wife team, Karl Jaan Laaman and Barbara Curzi, and Richard Williams joined Levasseur, Gros, and Thomas and Carole Manning. Members directed the bombings against corporations, courthouses, and selected military targets in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont. Despite the sensational aspects of the bombings and robberies, law enforcement agencies had difficulty locating the perpetrators. The three couples lived within thirty miles of each other in northern Ohio. They took extreme precautions to ensure that they resembled normal families. Two of the couples were busy raising three children each during the decade of their operations.

Law enforcement finally broke up the United Freedom Front on November 4, 1984. At the time of the arrest of Levasseur, Laaman and their wives, and Williams the FBI had conducted one of the longest, most intense manhunts in FBI history. The Mannings escaped the November dragnet and went underground, but they were arrested a year later in Virginia. In a series of trials held on a variety of charges in 1985 and 1986, all of the defendants received prison terms from fifteen to fifty-three years. Thomas Manning stood trial for killing a state trooper and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Williams pleaded guilty and received a seven-year prison sentence. In 1987 six de-

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Encyclopedia of Modern Worldwide Extremists and Extremist Groups
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Chronology of Events vii
  • Introduction xxi
  • A 1
  • B 26
  • C 57
  • D 80
  • E 89
  • F 96
  • G 110
  • H 123
  • I 137
  • J 142
  • K 149
  • L 166
  • M 184
  • N 215
  • O 230
  • P 238
  • Q 252
  • R 253
  • S 267
  • T 291
  • U 301
  • V 304
  • W 306
  • Y 326
  • Z 328
  • Selected Bibliography 331
  • Index 339
  • About the Author 375
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