The first American terrorist group entirely organized and led by women bombed the U.S. Capitol and plotted Henry Kissinger’s murder.
At 10:58 pm on November 7, 1983, a thunderous explosion tore through the second floor of US Capitol’s north wing, shattering chandeliers, pulling out the doors from their hinges, and also punching a hole in a wall partition and sending a shower of pieces of brick, plaster, and glass into the Republican cloakroom.
According to the Senate, the explosive hidden under a bench at the eastern end of the corridor also blew off Democratic Leader Robert C. Byrd’s office’s door. Although the Capitol did not face structural damage, total damages worth $250,000 were calculated.
Only minutes before the explosion, the Capitol switchboard received a call. The caller claiming to be a member of the Armed Resistance Unit (ARU) said, “Listen carefully, I’m only going to tell you this one time. There is a bomb in the Capitol building. The caller also said that this was in retaliation for recent U.S. military involvement in Grenada and Lebanon. It will go off in five minutes. Evacuate the building.”
ARU was an assumed name for the May 19 Communist Organization, a self-proclaimed “revolutionary anti-imperialists” group formed in the late 1970s. The group supported the armed struggles in Central America, southern Africa, the Middle East, Puerto Rico, and America.
Although May 19’s front groups had hundreds of members, its core group consisted of fewer than a dozen people, Politico reported. It was the first American terrorist group led by women, who made bombs and picked the targets.
After five years, the federal agents arrested six people in May 1988. All six were charged with bombings of the Capitol, Ft. McNair, and the Washington Navy Yard. In 1990, Marilyn Buck, Laura Whitehorn, and Linda Evans were sentenced to extended prison terms for conspiracy and malicious destruction of government property.