Fighting Fire with Fire
By: Kahunui Foster

     The United Freedom Front, also known as the Ohio 7, was an American group responsible for terrorist attacks, as well as criminal attacks, during the late 1970’s and 1980’s. They were a domestic terrorist group whose plans were carried out over much of north-east America. The group started it’s activity in 1975 but was eventually disbanded, due to members being imprisoned, in 1984. Despite being active for nearly 10 years, the UFF have not been responsible for an attack since 1984 and it’s looking to stay that way. In it’s prime, the group robbed several banks and attacked buildings, like the U.S. Capitol Building and the South African Consulate in New York, with explosives. The United Freedom Front a relatively small group, around seven or eight main members, and were still able to carry out attacks while evading the authorities.

     This particular terrorist group didn’t aim to hurt innocent people, only the companies and organizations that were responsible for things the UFF disagreed with. Every time a bombing attack was planned, a United Freedom Front member would call ahead to give warning. This allowed for any casualties to be avoided, but the group could still make their point. The UFF were only responsible for one act of murder, the killing of a New Jersey State Trooper in 1981. Two members of the group, Richard Williams and Thomas Manning, were charged with the murder of the State Trooper. While Manning got life in prison, Williams was acquitted in the murder, but convicted of conspiracy charges and given a lengthy jail sentence. The United Freedom front were self-proclaimed “revolutionaries” and sought to fight against what they deemed wrong with attacks on important buildings, rather than with the mass killings of civilians.

     The United Freedom Front was strongly against US foreign policy in Central America and used terrorism to show it. To make sure their opinions were heard, the UFF bombed the United States Capitol Building. This was their way of making sure that everyone knew the Freedom Front didn’t think the U.S. was handing things in Central America correctly. Their hatred towards racism in South Africa also lit the fuse to another bombing, aimed at the South African Consulate in New York. The United Freedom Front disagreed with government interest in South Africa at the time, causing them to plan the attack at the South African Consulate. UFF members were anti-imperialists who thought that by fighting back with violence, they could stop the violence they so strongly opposed.

     Since the group targeted mainly federal organizations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation were the ones to retaliate against the United Freedom Front. The FBI started a manhunt for the terrorists and a year later, five of them were apprehended. Afterwards, the last two members were caught and the main members were given lengthy jail sentences. The UFF members were charged with things like conspiracy and for the murder of the New Jersey State Trooper. The United Freedom Front evaded the authorities for a long time, but were eventually brought to justice.

    The United Freedom Front is currently inactive and will probably remain that way. In 2004, one of it’s main members, Raymond Levasseur, was released from prison, but he has no plans to start the UFF back up. Most of it’s members are still in jail, so is looks like the U.S. will remain free from the United Freedom Front’s violence and destruction.