The most famous bombing was the still-unsolved 1975 explosion that killed four people and wounded 60 at Fraunces Tavern, a landmark restaurant in New York's financial district. It's a case that transformed him into a martyr with supporters but outraged those who lost loved ones in a string of deadly bombings.
Oscar Lopez Rivera, the Puerto Rican nationalist who spent more than three decades behind bars for his role in a violent struggle for independence from the US, will be celebrated as a hero upon his release from house arrest in Puerto Rico on Wednesday and honored in Chicago the following day.
Rivera, who was convicted on a slew of charges including seditious conspiracy, is slated to be honored next month in the Big Apple's massive Puerto Rican Day parade on June 11. Lopez Rivera, a Puerto Rican nationalist who was the last of his group serving time for his role in a violent struggle for independence for the US territory, will be released from prison on Wednesday, May 17, 2017, to the cheers of his supporters and the dismay of the victims of violence.
Parade organizers said in a statement, "Oscar's involvement does not endorse the story that led to his arrest or any form of violence". "It's exactly what we need right now".
In early February, Lopez Rivera was transferred from the Terre Haute penitentiary in IN, where the leading activist spent about two-thirds of his more than 30-year prison term, to his daughter's home in Puerto Rico.
"I've had long hours in the middle of the night trying to figure out what I am missing, why he has all this support", said Diane Berger Ettenson, 70, who was six months pregnant when her husband, Alex Berger, was killed at the tavern.
In 1999, then-President Bill Clinton offered to commute the sentences of Lopez Rivera and several FALN comrades; Lopez Rivera rejected the offer, however, because two group members were not included. He was never tied to specific bombings, which caused few injuries.
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You still go to jail, I think, when you're texting and you end up killing somebody, but may have not meant to do that. He's been a little off this entire post season, but anything he contributes in Game 2 is essentially found money.
"This is not about people fighting for independence".
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig). In this May 10, 2017, photo, former NYPD detective Anthony Senft poses for a picture at his home in Bohemia, N.Y. Senft was blinded in one eye in 1982 by a bomb planted by the leftist group Armed Forces of National Liberation, al.
A campaign to free Lopez over the years has drawn support from Pope Francis, former President Jimmy Carter and "Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. Bernie Sanders, say the draw is more about what they say he symbolizes: the plight of Puerto Rico.
Lopez Rivera was not charged directly for involvement in FALN attacks, but rather for plotting to overthrow the USA government.
According to AP, Lopez Rivera has said that upon returning to Puerto Rico, he wanted to spend time with family, and create a think-tank to work on issues, including climate change, the economy and the island's political status. The island's 3.5 million residents are USA citizens and serve in the military. "We can. We are a attractive people and I think we can come together".
Lopez Rivera was born in Puerto Rico in 1943 but later moved to Chicago as a child. "And that it is important for this son to be returned", she said.
"This guy was convicted of leading the FALN that murdered people", said Joseph Connor, whose father, Frank, was killed in the Fraunces Tavern attack. "We never asked for it".