Ilyasah Shabazz Calls For New Investigation In FBI-Linked Murder Of Malcolm X

Ilyasah Shabazz Calls For New Investigation In FBI-Linked Murder Of Malcolm X

Ilyasah Shabazz
Ilyasah Shabazz Calls For New Investigation In FBI-Linked Murder Of Malcolm X. In this photo, three of Malcolm X daughters Qubiliah Shabazz, left, Ilyasah Shabazz, center, and Gamilah Shabazz, right, address a press conference where a letter, believed to be a confession from former NYPD officer Ray Wood, was revealed, Saturday Feb. 20, 2021, at the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz center in New York. Wood, an undercover NYPD officer in the 1960s, confessed in a deathbed declaration letter that he conspired with NYPD and the FBI to undermine the legitimacy of Malcolm X and other leaders of the civil rights movement. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Malcolm X’s daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, is calling for a new investigation into her father’s death after the deathbed confession of a former New York police officer who admitted to conspiring with the FBI to kill the legendary civil rights activist.

“Absolutely, we want the truth uncovered and if it’s the Manhattan District Attorney, the United States Congress, we would like them to do a thorough investigation on the assassination of our father, Malcolm X,” Shabazz said in an interview with Democracy Now.

Ilyasah Shabazz did the interview days after she and two of her sisters, Qubilah Bahiyah Shabazz and Gamilah Shabazz, stood with famed civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump on Feb. 20 at The Shabazz Center – the former Audubon Ballroom where Malcolm X was gunned down during a speech – with a “full confession” from late retired NYPD officer Raymond Wood. The letter detailed Wood’s participation in Malcolm’s death.

In a letter dated Jan 25, 2011, Wood, a Black man, said he was working undercover from April 1964 to May 1971 when he “participated in actions that in hindsight were deplorable and detrimental to the advancement of my own black people.”

He said he asked his cousin, Reginald Wood Jr., to come forth with the letter after his death. Wood wrote he acted “under duress” after threats to his freedom and brutality by the NYPD when he persuaded two key members of Malcolm X’s security into committing felonies so they were arrested and unable to guard Malcom X as usual.   

Adding he “was not aware that Malcolm X was the target” the day of the murder (Feb. 21, 1965), Wood said he was identified by witnesses at the scene, but Thomas Johnson was later arrested and wrongfully convicted to protect his cover.

“It is my hope, that this information is received with the understanding that I have carried these secrets with a heavy heart and remorsefully regret my participation in this matter,” Woods concluded his letter.

Ilyasah Shabazz, an award-winning author, activist and professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, said the letter made her reflect on her parents and all they endured.

“When I discovered this letter, when I discovered Reggie Wood with this information, I thought of my mother; I thought of my father, just a young man, All he wanted was for America to live up to her promise of liberty and justice for all,” Ilyasah Shabazz said.

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“It was quite challenging, you can imagine, for my mother who was a young woman pregnant with my youngest sisters, the twins, had four babies, to walk into the Audubon excited to see her husband because their home had been firebombed just a week prior on the evening of Valentine’s Day … she must’ve walked into that Audubon Sunday afternoon really excited and left shattered,” she continued.

Ilyasah Shabazz added that although she thought the letter was reprehensible, she was glad it was brought forth by Wood’s cousin because it shed more light on just how deeply embedded officials the highest levels of government were in the plot against Black civil rights leaders and organizations.

“I think it’s deplorable, but I think that it’s good that he came forward with this letter because many people just did not understand how intricately involved people in powerful positions were to infiltrate organizations that set out to improve society,” Ilyasah Shabazz said. “I’m happy that the truth can finally be uncovered and whatever it takes, I and my five sisters are supportive of that effort.”