With the recent shocking revelation that one of Malcolm X’s escaped assassins [William Bradley] had appeared in a 2010 campaign commercial for Newark [New Jersey] Mayor Cory Booker, the reappearance of the shadowy "Sixth Man" of the Nation of Islam's Temple No.25 assassination team Linward X Cathcart [aka Abdul Karriem Muhammad], the 2010 parole release of convicted Malcolm X assassin Talmadge Hayer [aka Thomas Hagan], the long-awaited publication of Manning Marable’s biography ‘Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention’ and the accession to power of an African-American president [Barack Obama] - along with his appointment of an African-American Attorney General [Eric Holder] - never has there been a 'galactic alignment' more conducive to the re-examination of the still-unsolved Malcolm X assassination and the bringing to trial of those responsible for this dastardly crime.
The hour has arrived to explore new evidence, cross-examine the surviving participants in the Malcolm X assassination and finally disentangle the Gordian Knot of what has remained one of the world’s most labyrinthine yet emotive of criminal cases.
The Black “Zapruder Film”
Television news footage filmed outside the Audubon Ballroom in the immediate aftermath of Malcolm’s assassination has recently revealed an 'apparition' that has gone all but unnoticed for over 40 years. For the first time eyewitnesses have identified the Frankenstein-like lumbering frame of Nation of Islam assassin William Bradley who, in a display of stupefying audacity, is still lingering at the scene of a crime he has just helped to perpetrate and can be seen brazenly attempting to FREE one of his fellow killers [Talmadge Hayer] from the clutches of an angry mob.
The world now has an unprecedented opportunity to interview the recently paroled Hayer and get the convicted killer to confirm whether or not the menacing figure in the black trench coat is, indeed, his shotgun-wielding compatriot William Bradley. Needless to say, such a dramatic identification of Bradley by Hayer himself would help seal the legal fate of the vicious New Jersey reptile who fired the fatal shot that took Malcolm's life.
The "Sixth Man"
One of the more troubling spectacles on that fateful day at the Audubon Ballroom was the sickening behaviour of an individual whom numerous eyewitnesses have identified as Nation of Islam ‘lieutenant’ Linward X Cathcart. Linward X, a member of the Nation of Islam’s paramilitary male detachment known as the 'Fruit of Islam' or FOI [and affiliated with the New Jersey No.25 mosque from which the five known assassins hailed], was reportedly observed grinning and laughing as Malcolm X was being gunned down. And while he has long denied any association with the killers his macabre conduct that blood-spattered afternoon has long fortified suspicions that, far from his having been a mere ‘guest’ at the Audubon Ballroom that day [as he has long maintained], Linward X may very well have been nothing less than the on-scene ‘supervisor' of the No.25 hit squad that slew Malcolm X and whose task it was to both ensure the success of its mission and to provide an after-action report to the NOI's gangster leadership in Chicago.
Furthermore, Linward’s close relationship with Minister Louis X [now Farrakhan] of Boston, who had been assigned to preach at No.25 that very same day [and to whom Linward may have also reported the success of the hit on Malcolm], could for once and for all establish Louis Farrakhan's complicity in one of the greatest crimes of the twentieth century. A photograph of Linward X at the Audubon Ballroom that day has reportedly surfaced in the collection of one of Malcolm’s former associates, Earl Grant.
The ‘Dry Runs’
Thanks to the incredible forensic filmography of New York documentary maker Omar Shabazz ['Inside Job', 'The Laughing Lieutenant', 'Naked Lies'] new evidence has emerged that the NOI hired out or otherwise used the Audubon Ballroom on at least FOUR separate occasions in the weeks leading up to Malcolm's assassination. The first of these occurred on 12 January 1965 when the local NOI Mosque No.7 held what was billed as 'A Night with the FOI'. A few weeks later, on 15 February, the assassins staged a 'dry run' of their 'get your hand out of my pocket' diversion during one of Malcolm's rallies there [the commotion in the audience and Malcolm's appeals for calm can be clearly heard on the audio recording of the event]. The very following day, 16 February, Mosque No.7 held another event titled 'Annual Class Closing' for their female membership corps known as the 'Muslim Girls in Training' or MGT. And on 20 February, the night before the assassination, Malcolm's killers purchased tickets for a dance event at the Audubon in order to 'case' the premises one last time and finalise their plans.
Move like a Butterfly, Sting like an Assassin?
The role of boxing legend Muhammad Ali in the events surrounding Malcolm’s evolving feud with the NOI and ultimate assassination has attracted little attention until recently. Not only was Ali a violent critic of Malcolm's decision to abandon NOI patriarch Elijah Muhammad but Ali had a close personal and professional relationship with at least one of the would-be assassins, Clarence 2X Gill. Gill, who served as one of Ali's own bodyguards and close confidants, was a Fruit of Islam ‘captain’ affiliated with Louis Farrakhan’s Boston Mosque No.11 and in addition to his having once sought to murder Malcolm X with a silenced pistol [an incident to which Malcolm refers in a 1972 Marvin Worth documentary about his life] Gill is believed to have been part of a back-up hit team at the Audubon Ballroom on the 21st of February 1965. Gill was reportedly shot by Malcolm X bodyguard Reuben Francis at the Audubon while fleeing and may have later received treatment for his wounds at Muhammad Ali’s Miami training camp - from Ali’s very own fight doctor. Gill, along with one Alvin X Walcott [the half-brother of Louis Farrakhan], is also suspected of having been a member of the team of NOI arsonists who firebombed Malcolm X’s Queens residence on 14th February 1965.
The nightmarish prospect that so revered a Mandela-esque hero as Muhammad Ali may have harboured a vicious criminal like Gill in the full knowledge of his role in an attempt on Malcolm’s life would be a truly tragic coda to what has been an otherwise illustrious career.
Louis Farrakhan’s 1972 Tirade
A new recording has surfaced of a vitriolic 22 January 1972 speech by Louis Farrakhan in which the future NOI leader celebrates the murder of Malcolm X, praises his killers as 'fearless men' and ridicules what he calls the 'cowardice' of the defenceless men, women and children in the Audubon Ballroom who attempted to flee as the assassins bullets ricocheted around the auditorium. Like Farrakhan’s infamous 1993 ‘Saviours Day’ diatribe in which he all but revelled in the NOI’s role in murdering the 'traitor' Malcolm X, these sermons demonstrate the depth of the homicidal animus that Farrakhan harboured towards Malcolm and strengthen suspicions that Farrakhan’s personal involvement in the assassination runs far deeper than his previously acknowledged culpability for ‘creating the atmosphere’ that led to Malcolm’s killing.
Furthermore, Farrakhan’s very presence at New Jersey's Mosque No.25 on the very same day that Malcolm X was murdered by assassins affiliated to that temple cries out for much closer scrutiny than it has hitherto received in the light of the newly-revealed roles played in the events at the Audubon Ballroom that tragic day by Linward X Cathcart and Clarence 2X Gill – two of Farrakhan’s closest associates.
PROSPECTIVE GRAND JURY WITNESSES
Talmadge Hayer [aka Thomas Hagan]: the recently paroled assassin of Malcolm X who made two sworn affidavits in 1977 and 1978 exonerating Norman 3X Butler and Thomas 15X Johnson [two individuals wrongly convicted for the crime] and instead naming William Bradley, Wilbur McKinley, Leon Davis and Benjamin Thomas as the individuals who carried out the killing with him. Hayer would be in a unique position to identify Bradley in the aforementioned “Zapruder Film”. He would also be in a position to confirm whether Linward X was part of the overall hit team. He may also be able to shed light on the participants in the 14 February 1965 firebombing of Malcolm’s home as well as provide information on the long-held suspicion that persons ostensibly working for Malcolm's Organisation of Afro-American Unity [OAAU] - Robert 35X Smith and James 67X Shabazz in particular - were in fact spying for the NOI.
Norman 3X Butler [aka Muhammad Abdul Aziz]: one of the two individuals wrongly imprisoned for assassinating Malcolm X. Butler would be in a position to confirm the claim that former NOI national secretary John Ali met with him and at least four other FOI members and attempted to form them into a hit team to kill Malcolm X. Another of the attendees at this meeting was Thomas 15X Johnson [aka Khalil Islam] who was also wrongly convicted for the Malcolm X killing. Butler also attended the now infamous FOI 'Wannsee Conference' of 28 June 1964 at which over 700 regional security officials of the organization were issued with an explicit order to kill Malcolm X by the Assistant Supreme Captain [and son of NOI leader Elijah Muhammad], Elijah Muhammad Jr.
William Bradley [aka Al-Mustafa Shabazz]: the shotgun assassin of Malcolm X, Bradley was recently discovered living under his assumed Islamic name of 'Al-Mustafa Shabazz' and has long sought to re-invent himself as a 'community elder' in the city of Newark, New Jersey. So much so that he was even featured in a re-election campaign commercial for Newark mayor Cory Booker.
NOI National Secretary John Ali: the former National Secretary of the NOI and one of the individuals most responsible for organizing the hit team that murdered Malcolm X. Ali now serves in a NOI splinter group headed up by another notorious figure in the saga, former Springfield FOI 'captain' John Muhammad - a man who, along with the aforementioned Boston captain Clarence 2X Gill, was involved in an effort to procure a pistol silencer from one Leon 4X Ameer for use in an assassination attempt on Malcolm X [this incident was described by Malcolm X himself at a 1965 press conference which features in a 1972 documentary about his life].
'Springfield' John Muhammad: currently the head of an NOI splinter faction, this former NOI captain was involved in various attempts on Malcolm's life including having played a possible role in the 14 February 1965 firebombing of Malcolm's Queens residence.
Elijah Muhammad Jr: perhaps the KEY figure in the Malcolm X assassination, Elijah Jr presided over the aforementioned FOI 'Wannsee Conference' of 28 June 1964 and during which he issued a grotesque order that Malcolm's home be destroyed, his tongue severed by his NOI attackers, placed in an envelope and delivered to him to be presented to his father, Elijah Muhammad, as a macabre 'gift' or trophy. Elijah Jr has long since disavowed his father's NOI doctrines and embraced orthodox Islam. Now believed to be in poor health, Elijah Jr is perhaps the only surviving member of the NOI 'old guard' who, precisely because of his infirmity and seemingly repentant disposition, may be inclined to provide “the Mother of all Deathbed Confessions” by confirming whether or not the ultimate order to assassinate Malcolm X derived directly from his father, Elijah Muhammad himself.
Linward X Cathcart [aka Abdul Karriem Muhammad]: the elusive and talismanic "Sixth Man" of the Malcolm X assassination team. Now serving under Louis Farrakhan, Linward X is quite possibly the 'lynchpin' of the entire plot to kill Malcolm X. Known at the time of the killing as 'the eyes and ears of Louis Farrakhan' any indication that he may have communicated with Farrakhan about the Malcolm X killing on the day it took place could establish whether or not Farrakhan had PRIOR knowledge of the assassination plot - a fact that would indict Farrakhan as an accessory to the crime.
Minister Louis Farrakhan: the current NOI leader and a man whom many have long suspected of having played a role in the assassination of Malcolm X - a role that could finally be established beyond all reasonable doubt.
Boxing legend Muhammad Ali: whose role in the feud between Malcolm X and the NOI has been little known until recently and who may be able to shed new light on the roles of Clarence 2X Gill and Louis X in the various discussions and plots to kill Malcolm X.
James 67X Shabazz [aka Abdullah Abdur-Razzaq]: the personal OAAU secretary of Malcolm X and a man whom many suspect of having aided and abetted Malcolm's assassins [Talmadge Hayer and/or William Bradley would be in a position to confirm this, as would Linward X].
Filmmaker Spike Lee: to whom NOI ‘captain’ Joseph X Gravitt [aka ‘Fat Joe’ or Yusuf Shah] of Harlem’s Mosque No.7 reportedly confessed his own role in the firebombing of Malcolm’s home. Gravitt was a sworn enemy of Malcolm X who once tried to have him murdered by wiring his Oldsmobile with explosives rigged to detonate upon ignition. During that same period Lee also interviewed Farrakhan [in preparing to direct his 1992 biopic Malcolm X] and during which Farrakhan flatly denied having known any of the New Jersey assassins – a dubious proposition given Farrakhan’s intimate dealings with No.25 and one that both Talmadge Hayer and William Bradley may be in a position to refute.
6 April 2011
6 April 2011