The Manhattan District Attorney’s 20th February 2021 announcement that the Malcolm X murder investigation is “active and ongoing” is generating excitement over the possibly imminent arrest of one of the key Nation of Islam (NOI) plotters in Malcolm’s murder. Known variously as ‘Linward X Cathcart’ or ‘Linwood X’ or ‘Agurs Linward Cathcart’ or ‘Linwood 15X’ (but better known by his Muslim name of ‘Abdul Karriem Muhammad’), this former Fruit of Islam (FOI) lieutenant and long-time associate of NOI leader Louis Farrakhan is suspected of having surveilled Malcolm’s Audubon Ballroom rallies in the weeks leading up to the 21st February 1965 assassination of Malcolm X:
Cathcart is also suspected of having planted two former FOI lieutenants from his Jersey City Temple #21 FOI squad — Charles 26X Blackwell and Robert 35X Smith — to serve on Malcolm’s security detail as rostrum guards at the Audubon Ballroom. Cathcart would later be seen entering the venue with Talmadge X Hayer and Leon X Davis:
Cathcart would also be seen entering the venue with the assistant secretary of Newark Temple #25 (who also served as the recruiter for the Newark hit squad) known as Benjamin 3X aka Robert 16X aka Benjamin X Thomas aka Albert Benjamin Thomas:
And later be seen leaving the venue with Thomas:
Cathcart’s role that day would appear to have been to conduct advanced surveillance of the Audubon venue in order to ensure that none of the Newark assassins would face a body search or pat-down procedure that might uncover their concealed weapons. While inside the venue Cathcart was himself subjected to multiple pat-downs due to the suspicions he aroused owing to the FOI lapel pin he had deliberately worn that day both to signal his rank to other NOI members who were present within the venue as well as to show off his loyalty to Elijah Muhammad at what was a Malcolm X rally:
Cathcart brazen display of the FOI ‘sun, moon and stars’ pendant was also calculated to draw attention to himself and away from the Newark hit squad and it was for a similar reason that both Norman 3X Butler and Thomas 15X Johnson from Harlem’s Temple #7 were also sent to the venue that day: to serve as further distractions to Malcolm’s security guards. [Contrary to their decades-long claims of innocence, both Butler and Johnson were, in fact, present at the Audubon Ballroom and were tasked with staging the ‘get your hand out of my pocket’ ruse that caused Malcolm’s security guards to leave their assigned posts. This, in turn, enabled the Newark hit squad to launch their attack. Butler and Johnson’s wives — Theresa 7X Butler and Etta 2X Johnson — both committed perjury during their 1965 Grand Jury and 1966 courtroom appearances when they falsely claimed that their husbands were ‘at home’ at the time of the assassination. You can read their Grand Jury and Murder Trial testimony here]:
Finally, the very title ‘The General’ by which Cathcart has come to be known in NOI circles is a taunting ‘nod-and-wink’ allusion to the perceived ‘leadership’ role he reportedly played in Malcolm’s assassination. You can learn more about Linward X here:
Paul Bitakaramire is a freelance writer based in England who has previously been published in Britain’s Spectator magazine and has launched a petition to reopen the investigation into the Malcolm X assassination. That petition can be found here.