Did FBI and NYPD conspire to kill Malcolm X? Truth behind undercover officer Ray Wood's 'deathbed' letter

An NYPD officer claimed he was pressured by supervisors to lure two of Malcolm X’s security men into committing crimes, a few days before the leader's assassination on February 21, 1965

                            Did FBI and NYPD conspire to kill Malcolm X? Truth behind undercover officer Ray Wood's 'deathbed' letter
Malcolm X's family is claiming NBYPD, FBI conspired in his assassination (Getty Images)

It's been almost 56 years since the day Malcolm X was assassinated in New York City, lawyers and family members of the late civil rights and Black nationalist leader, have now released new evidence claiming that the NYPD and FBI conspired in his murder.

Malcolm's family's team of lawyers are in possession of a deathbed letter attributed to a former undercover NYPD officer Raymond Wood who claimed he was pressured by supervisors to lure two men from Malcolm X’s security detail into committing crimes, a few days before the assassination on February 21, 1965. The arrests kept the two men from managing door security at the Audubon Ballroom in Washington Heights on the day when Malcolm was shot dead, as revealed in the letter. 


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Malcolm X (1925 - 1965), black American Muslim leader, arriving at Heathrow Airport en route to Egypt to attend a meeting of the Organization of African Unity, London, July 9, 1964. (Photo by Terry Disney/Getty Images)

The letter, penned by the ex-undercover NYPD policeman was read on Saturday, February 20, at a press conference attended by three of Malcolm's daughters Qubiliah Shabazz, Ilyasah Shabazz and Gamilah Shabazz, civil rights attorneys Benjamin Crump, Ray Hamlin and Paul Napoli and members of Wood’s family. Wood first shared his confession with his family when he was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2011. At the time, he asked his cousin, Reggie, not to share the letter until after he died.

No details about the circumstances and timing of Wood’s death were provided. As it relates to Malcolm, Wood claims there was a plot to bomb the Statue of Liberty days before the killing -- something he claims his own supervisor/handler came up with and executed and that Walter Bowe and Khaleel Sultan Sayyed were arrested in connection to the alleged attempt, something Wood has been credited with "foiling." Wood also confessed to helping frame a man named Thomas Johnson, most recently known as Khalil Islam, for Malcolm X’s murder. Islam served a life sentence for the murder and maintained his innocence until he died in 2009. 

Wood further claimed that reining in Bowe and Sayyed was key because the NYPD was aware they were essential in handling Malcolm's crowd control security detail. He says as the Statue of Liberty plan was being hatched, he was unaware Malcolm X was the real target in what he describes as an elaborate ruse.

Malcolm X (1926 - 1965), American Black Muslim leader and founder of the Islamic socialist Organization of Afro-American Unity.

In light of this new alleged evidence, Malcolm's family wants the whole investigation reexamined, a demand which was echoed by civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who's repping the family and leading the charge in getting the DA to give what he calls "restorative justice."

Crump tweeted, "Today, 56 years after Malcom X was assassinated while giving a speech at the Audubon Ballroom on, let’s continue to offer our prayers to his family and honors his LEGACY. He was Black Lives Matter before there was a #BLM movement!" Novelist Hari Kunzru shared the picture of the letter and said, "It’s the anniversary of Malcolm X’s assassination. This is the deathbed confession that former NYPD undercover Ray Wood passed to the family, now made public."





While another one said, "Elijah Mohmmed had a great deal of money and Power of persuasion ability. It would not surprise me that he paid off the NYPD and FBI at the time, with aid from Walcott, who never made this claim when it was brought up to him. He has practically admitted it!" While Journalist Tariq Nasheed said, "A deathbed confession letter was released today that came from NYPD uncover officer, Ray Wood. In the letter he admits to assisting the NYPD & FBI in orchestrating the Statue of Liberty bombing & assassination of Malcolm X."





Journalist Ben Norton said, "An ex undercover police officer admitted the FBI and NYPD helped assassinate revolutionary Malcolm X. The US gov't not only surveiled & blackmailed civil rights leaders & socialists in COINTELPRO; it straight up executed some, like Fred Hampton & Malcolm"



“Even though this is an astonishing revelation from the past,” Crump said, “I’ll remind you: The past is prologue. Malcolm X is Black Lives Matter.” Crump has asked the Manhattan district attorney and members of the Congressional Black Caucus to investigate Ray Wood’s confession and the government’s potential role in Malcolm X’s murder.

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