New Letter Reveals FBI Involvement in Malcolm X’s Assassination

by Sabine Waldeck
February 25th, 2021

This past Sunday, February 21st, marked the 56th anniversary of Malcolm X’s assassination. Malcolm X, originally Malcolm Little, was a prominent leader in the civil rights movement in the early 1960s. He was known for having more ‘radical’ views compared to other civil rights activists such as Martin Luther King Jr, during his time.

“His keen intellect, incisive wit, and ardent radicalism made him a formidable critic of American society,” wrote Lawrence A. Mamiya, a Professor of Religion and Africana Studies at Vassar College.

X was born May 19, 1925, in Omaha Nebraska. In his earlier years, X was involved in crime, putting him in prison from 1946-1952. In prison, he changed his last name from Little to X after learning about the Nation of Islam, as that was a custom among the followers of the Nation. The Nation of Islam was a movement combining the elements of Black nationalism and Islam.

After being released from prison X aided in leading the Nation of Islam. He organized temples in cities around the nation and created a newspaper for the Nation, Muhammed Speaks. He continuously spoke against the injustices Black people faced in the United States.

“His martyrdom, ideas, and speeches contributed to the development of Black nationalist ideology and the Black Power movement and helped to popularize the values of autonomy and independence among African Americans in the 1960s and ’70s,” wrote Mamiya.

X was a vital voice in the civil rights movement, inspiring generations to come.

The day before the anniversary of X’s assassination, the 20th, a new allegation regarding the events leading up to his death came out. Raymond A. Wood, a police officer for the New York Police department at the time of X’s death, wrote a letter uncovering many truths about X’s assassination.

“Raymond A. Wood stated that Wood had been compelled by his supervisors at the New York Police Department to coax two members of Malcolm X’s security team into committing crimes, leading to their arrests just a few days before the assassination.”

Wood was hired to infiltrate civil rights organizations and find criminal activity “so the F.B.I. could discredit and arrest its leaders.” Wood wrote that he "participated in actions that in hindsight were deplorable and detrimental to the advancement of my own black people."

X’s three daughters, Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney, and Wood’s cousin, Reggie Wood, brought the letter to a news conference in New York.

“Wood maintained that the arrests were part of a conspiracy by the NYPD and the FBI to murder Malcolm X, who had become disenchanted with the Nation of Islam and left the Black separatist group to start his own organization, the Muslim Mosque,” wrote Sydney Trent from The Washington Post.

The men convicted for X’s murder were Mujahid Abdul Halim, Khalil Islam, and Muhammad Aziz. Abdul Halim, who confessed, has maintained that Islam and Aziz are innocent since the 1966 trial. Islam “was later arrested and wrongfully convicted to protect my cover and the secrets of the FBI and NYPD,” said Wood in his letter.

There has been a lot of speculation surrounding X’s assassination since it occurred. This new information being brought to light leaves many hopeful that X’s murder investigation will be re-opened to bring those responsible to justice. The F.B.I involvement needs to be properly addressed and investigated in a court to the fullest extent of the law.