The Underboss

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Could Linward X be the “Sammy the Bull” to Louis Farrakhan’s John Gotti?

When one considers that the role played by Mafia mobster Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano in the 16th December 1985 assassination of Gambino crime boss Paul Castellano parallels the part which many believe was played by Nation of Islam (NOI) lieutenant Linward X Cathcart in the 21st February 1965 assassination of Malcolm X, the possibility exists that Cathcart (like Gravano) could yet cut a deal with the US Department of Justice (DOJ), turn state’s evidence and finally reveal the true story behind the crime. In the process, Cathcart could help to place Louis Farrakhan behind bars for whatever role the NOI leader played in the atrocity and ultimately assist in uncovering the complicity of President LBJ himself.

Gravano, who served as an ‘underboss’ to Gambino godfather John Gotti, oversaw a squad of four assassins in the 1985 killing of Castellano outside Manhattan’s Sparks Steak House. He would later turn state’s evidence and help to bring down Gotti after FBI wiretaps emerged in which Gotti could be heard slandering and maligning the loyal Gravano behind his back.

For his part, Cathcart is widely suspected of supervising the five-man team of killers from Newark Mosque #25 responsible for the 1965 murder of Malcolm X at the Audubon Ballroom. But, as revealed in the recently-published NOI memoir Blood, Sweat and Tears by broadcaster Lance Shabazz, Cathcart – who was instrumental in rebuilding the NOI under Farrakhan’s leadership – appears to have been the victim of persistent betrayals, slights and disrespect at the hands of Farrakhan and his minions.

Contrary to popular perceptions that Cathcart and Farrakhan are close pals, it would appear that theirs is a highly complicated, mistrustful and angst-ridden relationship. This could give Cathcart, also known as Abdul Karriem Muhammad, all of the incentive he needs to crack open a can of PAYBACK and bring down Farrakhan in much the same way Gravano brought down Gotti.

Were Cathcart to cut a deal with the DOJ he could finally redeem himself, cleanse his conscience of the wicked role he played in Malcolm’s murder and go down in history as one of the most consequential Americans of all time. In helping the NOI to finally lift the cloud of guilt and suspicion that has hovered over the organisation since the Malcolm X assassination, Cathcart’s courageous actions could spark a process of reform and purification within the NOI and one that could finally see the movement realise its full potential. As a result, the one-time assassin could yet emerge as the unexpected redeemer whose arrival the NOI faithful have been anxiously awaiting.

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