Malcolm Shabazz’s Suspicious Death


On May 9, Amsterdam News (AN) headlined “Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of Malcolm X, killed.”

AN said he was killed in Tijuana, Mexico. Unconfirmed reports said “he died early Thursday morning, May 9, 2013, from injuries sustained after he was thrown off a building or shot as he was being robbed….”

Family members acknowledged his death. They haven’t confirmed where or how.

Talking Points Memo (TPM) said it “independently confirmed his death through a (non-family) source with close knowledge of the situation.” It said he “was beaten during a robbery Wednesday night in Mexico City.”

A State Department source said:

“We are aware of the death of a US citizen in Mexico City. We have been in contact with family members, and at their request we have no further comment at this time.”

Shabazz was Malcolm X’s grandson. On February 21, 1965, Malcolm was killed as he was about to speak in Manhattan. In his autobiography, he commented on his possible death, saying:

“Every morning when I wake now, I regard it as a having another borrowed day.”  

“In any city, wherever I go, making speeches, holding meetings of my organisation, or attending to other business, black men are watching every move I make, awaiting their chance to kill me, I have said publicly many times that I know that they have their orders.”  

“Anyone who chooses not to believe what I am saying doesn’t know the Muslims in the Nation of Islam.”

“I know, too, that I could suddenly die at the hands of some white racists. Or I could die at the hands of some Negro hired by the white man.”

“Or it could be some brainwashed Negro acting on his own idea that by eliminating me, he would be helping out the white man because I talk about the white man the way I do.”

Who killed Malcolm matters less than who wanted him dead and ordered it. Others will have to decide. Perhaps history will have final say.

The same holds for Shabazz. It’s unclear who killed him and why. He once said he and his family were persecuted “by select businessmen and government officials. I’ve been a target my entire life. My family is targeted.” More on that below.

On February 4, Press TV headlined “FBI arrests Malcolm X grandson en route to Iran,” saying:

He was scheduled to participate in a Tehran Hollywoodism conference. At the time, the FBI “refused to provide any information about his whereabouts.”

US media scoundrels reported nothing. This writer also participated in the conference via Skype from Chicago. Perhaps it was wise choice. At a time of increasing tyranny, Washington critics have good reason to fear.

Press TV published a statement Shabazz posted on Cynthia McKinney’s Facebook page. In part it said:

“I sincerely appreciate the care & concern of the People over my well-being after Press TV’s report of the most recent events which have transpired regarding the F.B.I.’s harassment of me.”

“Given the storm of lies, and half-truths that come with being associated with….Minister Malcolm X….I will take this opportunity to properly & fully disclose what transpired.”

“In the beginning of 2012, I had been informed that I was under investigation by the FBI’s Counter Terrorism Task Force Unit located in Goshen, NY.”

“The agents of this division-and in collaboration with others-have visited several residences of which I was known by them to frequent.”

They told “surrounding residents to observe the house and to notify them if they saw me.”

“These are the homes of long-time friends, and very close supporters. Yet, when federal agents begin knocking on someone’s door on multiple occasions to snoop, and ask questions, whether one is guilty of an offense or not, it’s enough to coerce people into distancing themselves from you.”

“This cheap tactic employed by the FBI is a means of agitation & harassment. They seek to neutralize my networking abilities.
They have visited locations in California, Chicago, Miami and most aggressively in New York.”

“People were advising me that if I had nothing to hide, then I should just contact them as requested and cooperate. Though I must say that in these kind of matters I am of a particular ethic.”

For one, I have been engaged in no criminal activity of their concern, and they could have located me if they so chose. Secondly, I don’t recognize the authority in them beckoning me.”

“It wasn’t even until my mother informed me that they had been contacting her that I truly became agitated.”

“She advised me to see what they had to say, and so I obliged the next time they came around looking for me. My encounter was with 2 federal agents of Goshen, NY’s Counter Terrorism Task Force Unit. The primary agent identified himself as Special Agent Tom Brozicky.”

“They expressed concern” in his “international travels.”

“I have lived & studied in Damascus, Syria for over a year, and now the US is instigating conflict within the very same region.”

“I went on ex-congresswoman/former presidential candidate Cynthia Mckinney’s delegation along with Dr. Randy Short to Libya, and met with Leader Muammar Gadhafi one week prior to NATO intervention, and I was most recently getting ready to travel to Tehran, Iran to be a participant of the International Fajr Film Festival and give a lecture addressing the issues of Hollywood and violence….”

“I was picked up by authorities after I filed for a visa to Iran, and 2 days prior to my departure. A detective squad from the City of Middletown Police Department surrounded me in the street about 2 blocks from where I was residing.”

“When I was brought before a Judge of City of Middletown court, I was surprised to be informed that I was being charged with Grand Larceny, and False Impersonation charge.”

“Then I was sent to jail, and told to appear again 7 days later. Then following court date, the bogus charge of Grand Larceny, which they only put to justify stopping me in first place, was dropped.”

“And they left me to face the False Impersonation. I was offered 90 days for the offense of giving the authorities the wrong name which I declined before bailing out after 2 weeks.”

“When I was being held within the belly of the beast on trumped up charges, to my rescue came the journalist at Press TV based in Iran.”

“The formula for a public assassination is: the character assassination before the physical assassination; so one has to be made killable before the eyes of the public in order for their eventual murder to then (be) deemed justifiable.”

“And when the time arrives for these hits to be carried out, you’re not going to see a CIA agent with a suit & tie, and a badge that says ‘C.I.A.’ ”

“What they will do is to out-source to local police departments in the region of their target, and to employ those that look like the target of interest to infiltrate the workings in order to set up the environment for the eventual assassination (character, physical/incarceration, exile) to take place.”

For several months prior to my arrest in late January, 2013, I faced a pattern of harassment from law enforcement which is usually reserved for important figures.”

“With that being said, I was not arrested by federal agents. I was taken in by a squad from the City of Middletown, NY’s Police Department.”

“I was held in the Orange County Jail in Goshen, NY. However, from the time that I was booked at the precinct, to standing before a Judge the next day who told me to come back in 7 more, to being processed at the Orange County Jail and up until 7 days later, I was not permitted to make any calls to notify anyone of my status; as though I had just been kidnapped from the street.”

Unfortunately, until this day, my family hasn’t been fully abreast of my situation as I haven’t had the opportunity to properly consult with any of them.”

Given Shabazz’s lineage and activism, he had good reason to fear. Details surrounding his death remain sketchy and suspicious.

Robberies seldom involve deaths. They rarely, if ever, occur atop buildings. Seldom is anyone thrown off one. It’s unknown if any of this is true. It’s unclear where Shabbaz died.

Activists like him are vulnerable. The FBI’s COINTELPRO waged war on dissent.

It was conducted against alleged communists, political dissidents, anti-war activists, human and civil rights supporters, and organizations for ethnic justice and racial emancipation, as well as for economic, social, and political equality across gender and color lines.

In their book “Agents of Repression,” Ward Churchill and Jim Vander Wall said:

COINTELPRO “came to signify the whole context of clandestine (often illegal) political repression activities (including) a massive surveillance (program via) wiretaps, surreptitious entries and burglaries, electronic devices, live ‘tails’ and….bogus mail.”

It was done to induce paranoia and “foster ‘splits’ within or between organizations.”

Other tactics included:

• “black propaganda” through leaflets or other publications; they were “designed to discredit organizations and foster internal tensions;”

• “disinformation or ‘gray propaganda;’ ”  

• “bad-jacketing” to “creat(e) suspicion - through the spread of rumors, manufacture of evidence, etc. - that bona fide organizational members, (were) FBI/police informants;” it was done to turn some members against others violently;

• “assassinations (of) selected political leaders;” and

• “harassment arrests (on bogus) charges.”

COINTELPRO never ended. It was reinvented earlier. It’s now part of America’s “war on terror.” No one’s safe anywhere. US citizens are vulnerable at home or abroad.

It’s official Obama policy. He appointed himself judge, jury and executioner. He governs by diktat authority. Doing so affords justice to no one ordered killed.

Summary judgment means no arrests, no Miranda rights, no due process or habeas rights, and no trials. Diktats decide who lives or dies.

Anyone called Al Qaeda or accused of terrorist connections gets marked for death. Activists challenging imperial lawlessness are vulnerable.

Eliminating America’s enemies alone matters. Methods include drones, death squads, targeted assassinations and other means.

Counterterrorism is cover for wholesale or retail killing. Whether Shabbaz was an imperial victim isn’t known. His death remains suspicious. Challenging imperial lawlessness is risky. It’s price sometimes is death.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

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About the author

Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960.   After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967, remaining there until retiring at year end 1999.   Supporting progressive causes and organizations, he began writing in summer 2005 on a broad range of issues. Topics regularly addressed include war and peace; social, economic and political equity; and justice for long-suffering peoples globally - notably, victims of America's imperial wars, Occupied Palestinians and Haitians. In early 2007, he began hosting his own radio program. Currently he hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. Airing three times weekly, it features distinguished guests discussing vital world and national issues in depth. Today perhaps more than ever, vital social, political and economic change is needed. What better way to spend retirement years than working for it. We owe at least that much to our loved ones, friends and humanity.