The Last Assassin

With the recent news of the death of Malcolm X assassination suspect William Bradley (aka Willie X aka Al-Mustafa Shabazz), there is one remaining KEY suspect in the 21st February 1965 atrocity who remains at large: he is Linward X Cathcart (aka ‘Linward X’ aka ‘Agurs’ Linward X Cathcart aka ‘Abdul Karriem Muhammad’). For those unfamiliar with this New Jersey resident (and Cory Booker constituent) and his suspected role in Malcolm’s murder, a brief summary is in order: Cathcart (commonly known as ‘Abdul Karriem Muhammad’) witnessed Malcolm’s assassination from a FRONT ROW seat at the Audubon Ballroom and was reportedly observed either SMILING or LAUGHING during or after Malcolm’s killing – an allegation Cathcart has long denied. Cathcart is suspected of having served as the on-scene ‘supervisor’ of the Newark Mosque #25 hit squad that slew Malcolm and it is believed to have been his task to both ensure the success of the assassin’s mission and to provide an after-action report to the Nation of Islam (NOI) leadership in Chicago. Cathcart reportedly shared his front-row seat at the Audubon Ballroom with TWO of the five assassins, Talmadge Hayer and Leon Davis.
By virtue of the NUMBER of times Linward X was SEARCHED by Malcolm’s security guards upon his arrival at the Audubon Ballroom – “THREE or FOUR times” by his OWN admission – and by virtue of what was to occur moments later, namely the MURDER of Malcolm X, it is now beyond question that Cathcart’s presence at the venue and the SUSPICIONS he aroused by his BEHAVIOUR (enough to necessitate MULTIPLE searches of his person on an occasion where searches of those coming to hear Malcolm’s speech had been PROHIBITED), identifies Cathcart as the proverbial “canary in the coal mine” and the first sign to those present that something EVIL was about to “go down”.
On page 294 of Peter Goldman’s classic 1979 biography The Death & Life of Malcolm X passing reference is made to a member of Newark Mosque #25 who was observed either ‘smiling’ or ‘laughing’ as he gazed upon Malcolm’s bullet-ridden corpse in the immediate aftermath of the assassination: “Life (magazine) bought up some photos one of the brothers had taken immediately after the shooting stopped. The pictures, when the police got hold of them, identified and placed still more witnesses. One of them showed a known Muslim (Cathcart), the man who had got into the hall wearing an FOI (‘Fruit of Islam’) pin and was allowed to stay once he took it off. The camera caught him standing there staring at Malcolm’s body. He looked as if he were laughing…”
As to the NOI’s own role in the events leading up to Malcolm’s murder: the group is known to have hired out or otherwise used the Audubon Ballroom on at least FOUR separate occasions in the weeks leading up to the 21st February 1965. The first of these occurred on 12 January when the local NOI Mosque #7 held what was billed as ‘A Night with the FOI’. A few weeks later, on 15 February, the NOI assassins staged a dress rehearsal of their “get your hand out of my pocket” ruse during one of Malcolm’s rallies there (the commotion in the audience and Malcolm’s appeals for calm can be clearly heard on the audio recording of the event). The very following day, 16 February, Harlem’s Mosque #7 held another event titled ‘Annual Class Closing’ for their female membership corps known as the ‘Muslim Girls in Training’ or MGT. And on 20 February, the night before the assassination, Malcolm’s assassins purchased tickets for a dance event at the Audubon in order to survey the premises one last time and finalize their plans.
Concerning the role of Minister Louis Farrakhan in the assassination of Malcolm X: It is becoming increasingly clear that Farrakhan’s duties at Newark Mosque #25 on the 21st of February 1965 went beyond mere ‘lecturing’. More than likely, Farrakhan had been assigned to serve as the de facto ‘interim minister’ of that temple for the day and quite possibly in the weeks leading up to Sunday the 21st of February. This would have placed him in charge of all FOI and MGT members at Mosque #25 and made him the person to whom they all reported. As such it would have likely been Farrakhan’s responsibility to assign Newark FOI lieutenant Linward X to the Ballroom that afternoon in order to serve as the supervisor of the Mosque #25 hit squad which had been assigned to murder Malcolm and it would have been to Farrakhan, in turn, to whom Linward X was to report the outcome of their mission.
This may further explain why Cathcart, following Malcolm’s assassination (and by his OWN admission), lingered behind at the Ballroom and, among other things, conversed with the famous Harlem bookseller Lewis Michaux. It would also confirm the infamous “laughing lieutenant” account contained in the aforementioned Goldman biography. Cathcart’s purpose in LOITERING at the venue following the shooting is highly suggestive of his role that afternoon, namely, to await NEWS regarding Malcolm’s deteriorating condition. There is a further possibility that Cathcart may have even ACCOMPANIED Malcolm’s bullet-riddled corpse to the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Centre and, upon learning that Malcolm had succumbed to his injuries, Cathcart would likely have sought out a nearby phone booth in order to relay the news to Farrakhan. Farrakhan, in turn, would have then contacted NOI Supreme Captain Raymond Sharrieff or NOI National Secretary John Ali and provided them with an after-action report.
In an horrific (and self-incriminating) 1972 speech, Farrakhan CELEBRATED the cold-blooded murder of Malcolm X, GLORIFIED his killers as “fearless men” and RIDICULED what he referred to as the “cowardice” of the defenceless men, women and children in the Audubon Ballroom who attempted to flee as the assassins bullets ricocheted around the auditorium.
What was peculiar about Farrakhan’s sickening diatribe was the ‘FIRST PERSON’ character of Farrakhan’s description of the chaotic manner in which Malcolm’s bodyguards responded to the shooting spree. Farrakhan, who wasn’t present in the Audubon Ballroom on that fateful day, nevertheless provided a vivid account of the mayhem that unfolded during the assassination and described Malcolm’s bodyguards as “damn cowardly dogs” and “damn punks” who were “ducking and running” as bullets flew around the venue.
This strongly suggests to the listener that Farrakhan was relaying a FIRST HAND account shared with him by someone who personally WITNESSED the killing – and was doing so in the same DERISORY terms in which that account had itself been conveyed to him. One likely source of the account would have been Linward X Cathcart who, after all, witnessed Malcolm’s assassination from a FRONT ROW seat in the Ballroom and appears to have later relayed what transpired to Farrakhan in the same DISPARAGING terms in which Farrakhan, in turn, retold it to his audience. Simply put, Farrakhan appears to be describing the assassination of Malcolm X…in Cathcart’s VERY OWN WORDS.
This is compelling circumstantial evidence that Cathcart, contrary to his long-standing denials, was a HOSTILE presence at the Ballroom that Sunday afternoon and was likely acting IN LEAGUE with Malcolm’s assassins. It also suggests that Farrakhan and Cathcart may have communicated with one another on the DAY of Malcolm’s assassination.
An even more disquieting possibility is that Farrakhan may have received a first-hand account of Malcolm’s killing from one (or more) of the escaped ASSASSINS themselves: William Bradley, Leon Davis, Albert Benjamin Thomas or Wilbert McKinney (Talmadge X Hayer was arrested at the crime scene and is unlikely to have relayed what occurred there to Farrakhan). How else could Farrakhan possibly know that Malcolm’s bodyguards were “ducking and running” like “damn cowardly dogs” and “damn punks” (since no description even remotely matching the one contained in Farrakhan’s diatribe was provided by any of the eyewitnesses who were interviewed by the news media or by detectives following the assassination)?
Like Farrakhan’s disgraceful 1993 ‘Saviours Day’ tirade in which he revelled in the NOI’s role in murdering the “traitor” Malcolm X, these sermons clearly demonstrate the depth of Farrakhan’s homicidal animus towards Malcolm and strengthen suspicions that Farrakhan’s personal involvement in the assassination may run far DEEPER than his previously acknowledged culpability for “creating the atmosphere” that led to Malcolm’s killing.