The Linward X Wiretaps


As the Manhattan District Attorney prepares to publish the findings of his 2020 review into the Malcolm X assassination, recordings of the FBI and police wiretaps of the phone traffic on the Harlem Temple #7 and Newark Temple #25 phone lines for 21st February 1965 could soon be made public and reveal a great deal about the Nation of Islam (NOI) role in the killing.

Since it has long been reported that Linward X Cathcart of Jersey City Temple #21 telephoned either (or both) of those NOI temples to inform their officials of Malcolm's assassination, those wiretaps could reveal the identities of those NOI officials who had prior knowledge of the killing based on the content of the calls.

Phone calls to both of those NOI temples that came in after 3.00pm that day would also indicate whether Minister Louis X Farrakhan of Boston Temple #11, Captain Joseph X Gravitt (aka Yusuf Shah) of New York Temple #7 and Minister James McGregor Shabazz of Newark Temple #25 were among those whom Linward X briefed about the killing.

Furthermore, any phone calls made by Farrakhan from one of the Temple #25 phone lines either to his Boston Temple or to the Chicago residence of Elijah Muhammad would shed light on which individuals within the NOI's national leadership knew what and when they knew it. 

Should these wiretaps reveal an NOI whose officials, far from displaying surprise over a killing they have long blamed on the US government, are instead congratulating each other for the atrocity, Farrakhan could face an explosive backlash from enraged Black people worldwide of such ferocity as to have his NOI followers, in his own words, “ducking and running and hiding under poles like damned cowardly dogs and damned punks.”


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.