Assassinations / Malcolm X

Evanzz, Karl. The Judas Factor: The Plot to Kill Malcolm X. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 1992. 389 pages.

By the time Malcolm X was cut down by conspirators in February 1965, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover had been following his every move for years. Elijah Muhammad's Nation of Islam cult, which had a grudge against Malcolm, was riddled with FBI and police informants. Even Malcolm's bodyguard Gene Roberts, who appeared to be trying to revive him after he was hit, later admitted to being an undercover police agent. Three Black Muslims were convicted for the assassination, but only one of them, Talmadge Hayer, was trapped at the scene and his testimony is not considered reliable.

U.S. officials in the 1960s thought nothing of knocking off popular African leaders when it served their conception of the national interest. A case in point is Patrice Lumumba; the planning for this assassination can be followed by reading the official U.S. cable traffic. And there's the curious episode in Cairo in July, 1964. Two white men had been following Malcolm all day. While they watched him eat he suddenly had to be rushed to the hospital to have his stomach pumped. The analysis of the stomach contents showed that the toxin was not from natural food poisoning, but by then the waiter had already disappeared. During Malcolm's last months, a series of incidents and narrow escapes made it clear to him that his days were numbered.

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