[Note: In this January 22, 1969 previously classified memo, the FBI takes credit for counter intelligence efforts leading to the murder of Malcolm X. The following is a text reproduction of original FBI Document.]
TO: DIRECTOR, FBI (100-448006)
FROM: SAC, Chicago (157-2209) (P)
BLACK NATIONALIST – HATE GROUPS
(NATION OF ISLAM)
ReBulet has been thoroughly studied and discussed by the SAC, the Supervisor, and Agents familiar with facets of the NOI which might indicate trends and possible future direction of the organization. The Bureau’s concern is most understandable and suggestions appreciated.
Over the years considerable thought has been given, and action taken with Bureau approval, relating to methods through which the NOI could be discredited in the eyes of the general black populace or through which factionalism among the leadership could be created. Serious consideration has also been given towards developing ways and means of changing NOI philosophy to one whereby the members could be developed into useful citizens and the organization developed into one emphasizing religion – the brotherhood of mankind – and self improvement. Factional disputes have been developed – the most notable being MALCOLM X LITTLE.
Prominent black personages have publicly and nationally spoken out against the group – U.S. District Court Judge JAMES BENTON PARSONS being one example. The media of the press has played down the NOI. This appears to be a most effective tool as individuals such as MUHAMMAD assuredly seek any and all publicity be it good or bad; however, if the press is utilized it would appear it should not concentrate on such aspects as the alleged strength of the NOI, immoral activities of the leadership, misuse of funders by these officials, etc. It is the opinion of this office that such exposure is ineffective, possibly creates interest and maybe envy among the lesser educated black man causing them out of curiosity to attend meetings and maybe join, and encourage the opportunist to seek personal gain – physical or monetary – through alignment with the group. At any rate it is felt such publicity in the case of the NOI is not overly effective.