Opinion| Did the FBI assassinate Malcolm X?

Marwa El- Shinawy
6 Min Read

A few days ago, one of the most prominent cases of political assassination in the modern era returned to the scene, as the American judiciary announced the acquittal of the two men who were previously convicted of killing the famous activist Malcolm X, to raise the question again: who is the real killer? 

The Manhattan District Attorney said that the defendants did not get the justice they deserved. The Attorney General announced in statements to the New York Times that the FBI and the US police had withheld evidence that was likely to lead to the two men’s acquittal.

The investigation was reopened in the case immediately after a Netflix documentary about Malcolm X was released, as his family demanded a re-investigation due to the presence of serious evidence and documents that were revealed in the film. The new six-part documentary, prepared by historian Abd al-Rahman Muhammad, asserts that the defendants (Muhammad Abd al-Aziz and Khalil Islam) were not in the Audubon Hall during the Malcolm X assassination.

Marwa El-Shinawy
Dr Marwa El-Shinawy

In addition, the family members of Malcolm X revealed what they received a letter which stated that the New York Police Department (NYPD) and the FBI were behind the murder of the famous black activist and civil rights advocate. In the letter, a policeman alleged that he was pressured by his NYPD superiors to get two of Malcolm X’s security team to commit crimes that led to their arrest just days before the shooting. These arrests prevented the two men from being able to take charge of security in the hall on the night Malcolm was killed.

The letter read: “My job was to infiltrate civil rights organizations across New York City, to find evidence of criminal activity so that the FBI could discredit and arrest its leaders.” The letter also said that the NYPD and the FBI had hidden details of the 21 February 1965 assassination at Audubon Hall in Harlem, Upper Manhattan.

Most importantly, New York County prosecutors denied seeing FBI documents during the trial, which proves that the FBI imprisoned innocent defendants for twenty years while the real killer was covered up. Abdel Aziz confirmed that he was at his home due to a recent injury to his leg, which was confirmed by the doctor who supervised his treatment hours before the assassination of Malcolm X. Abdel Aziz said in his testimony in the documentary series “Who Killed Malcolm X” that on the day of the murder of Malcolm X, which was one Sunday morning, I was lying on the sofa with my feet up, and I heard the news on the radio.

In fact, there are many motives that make Malcolm X a target for assassination by the police and the US authorities in general, especially at this point in history. Malcolm X was not just an Islamic preacher but a human rights advocate. He was a brave man who defended the rights of blacks and accused white Americans of having committed the most heinous crimes against black Americans. He was so popular and influential that he was described as one of the greatest and most influential African Americans of all time.

It is true that the differences between him and the Nation of Islam organization to which the defendants belong were deep and strong, as he took it upon himself to correct their misguided and erroneous concepts about Islam and spread the true concepts of Islam. Nevertheless, many historians assert that the assassination was the work of a larger organization than the Nation of Islam, which was operating in a primitive and largely random manner. Additionally, during investigations, Thomas Hagan, the sniper who shot Malcolm X, insisted that the two other men convicted with him at the same trial had nothing to do with the matter.

There is no doubt that this era of history is a black spot in the history of the United States of America that still resonates today. A few weeks ago, it was revealed that US intelligence was involved in the murder of John F. Kennedy for his rejection of the US administration’s orientations regarding third-world countries. Today, too, suspicion revolves around the involvement of the US intelligence and police in the murder of Malcolm X, who was demanding the simplest rules of democrats, which is equality and justice for all. Indeed, there is a lot that we need to know about this mysterious era in the history of the United States in order to be able to properly analyze the political situations of the day.

Dr. Marwa El-Shinawy: Assistant Prof. at International American University for Specialized Studies (IAUS)

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