Documents reveal FBI fears that ‘assumed’ control of Malcolm X’s security gave rise to assassination

Malcolm X and his security detail were placed under surveillance and eventually captured by the FBI during their return from a trip to France in 1964. That visit was meant to play down rumors that Malcolm X had converted to Christianity, but instead it only fueled speculation that he had a secret relationship with Muslim Brotherhood leader Hassan Ouali.

The FBI, in its files released by the National Archives on Friday, asserted that “it was in or around the Paris trip that Dr. Ouali ‘assumed’ control of Malcolm X’s security detail,” and that this, in turn, led to his death.

Researchers had long suggested that this may have been what caused Malcolm X’s killing, but in their files, the FBI said little beyond that.

Professor Rodney D. Williams, of Claremont McKenna College, has pointed out in a recent study that the FBI at the time wasn’t sure exactly when Ouali was “assumed” control of Malcolm X’s security detail.

“No one we interviewed could recall the year it occurred, and it was not clear from the records that agents even referred to it as a control,” Williams told NewsOne on Friday.

The FBI’s reasoning for claiming a control of Malcolm X’s security at the time was also unclear. The organization made it clear that Malcolm X’s death was connected to a strike by disgruntled West African-Americans, but they made no attempt to describe that strike in clear terms. “Intelligence continued to suggest that Malcolm was seeing Ethiopian student leaders at the London School of Economics, but the reason that matter has never been resolved,” the FBI said in one of its reports.

Lavon Rosado, then a security consultant to Malcolm X, told Williams that the FBI had put pressure on Ouali to arrest Malcolm X and that ultimately drove him to the conclusion that he must kill him. “Mr. Ouali was a vindictive and erratic individual,” he said.

The last time the FBI came close to charging Ouali as Malcolm X’s killer was in 2006, according to Williams. He noted that in his files, FBI agents told investigators that they could not pin Ouali’s killing on him. Williams later contacted Dr. Ouali and asked him to comment on all this.

“He could not possibly be responsible for killing Malcolm,” Ouali told Williams. “Of course, he is the best friend of the Muslim Brotherhood, but if he was responsible for killing Malcolm X, they would know it,” he told Williams.

In his current book, Ouali also identified several other individuals, including former KKK leader Marion R. Sims, who he said had been present at Malcolm X’s death. The late Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, who chaired the Senate Committee on Un-American Activities, had requested a list of such people, but Sims said he had nothing to do with Malcolm X’s death, according to Ouali.

Williams concluded that Ouali may not have been really involved in Malcolm X’s death, and said that “the possibility of Ouali being the triggerman is slim.”

Read the full story at NewsOne.


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