Malcolm X's survivors plan to sue the CIA, FBI, NYPD and others in connection with the assassination of the US civil rights leader. Ilyasah Shabazz and Qubilah Shabazz - the daughters of Malcolm X - accused security agencies on Tuesday of playing a role in their father's murder.
Therefore, they wanted to demand 100 million dollars (around 93.8 million euros) in compensation, as they announced. Authorities conspired with each other and others to take action in a manner that led to her father's wrongful death, said Ilyasah, who serves as co-executor of Malcolm X's estate.
His daughters were speaking in the presence of civil rights attorney Ben Crump Tuesday at a news conference in the Audubon Ballroom in New York's Harlem neighborhood, where Malcolm X was shot dead 58 years to the day while preparing to speak to a crowd.
Prime suspect Mujahid Abdul Halim, Muhammad Aziz and the late Khalil Islam were convicted of the murder, but the convictions against Aziz and Islam were overturned two years ago. New investigations have shown that the evidence against the two was shaky and that authorities had withheld some information about the case, the New York judiciary said at the time. So Aziz and Islam had been in prison for decades for a crime they didn't commit.
Since the murder of Malcolm X, there has been speculation about who was involved, said lawyer Crump in view of the anniversary. What is clear to him, however, is that the New York police, the then Manhattan District Attorney and the FBI had factual and exculpatory evidence that they had fraudulently hidden from the men wrongly convicted of the murder of Malcolm X. When asked if he believed government agencies were conspiring to carry out the assassination, Crump replied, "That's what we're assuming."
Ilyasah Shabazz added that her family has been fighting for the truth to come out for years. "We want justice done to our father." As a first step in the planned lawsuit, she filed a so-called Notice of Claim.
The CIA, the FBI, and the New York City Department of Justice initially went unanswered to emails asking for a response. The Justice Department and the New York Police Department declined to comment.
Malcolm X was considered one of the most controversial and colorful figures of the American civil rights era. He rose to prominence as the chief voice of the Nation of Islam, a black Muslim organization whose main message he proclaimed: ethnic separatism as a path to black self-affirmation. Malcolm X preached to them that they should claim their civil rights "by any means necessary". Even today, his autobiography, written with Alex Haley, is considered a classic of modern American literature.
Towards the end of his life, Malcolm X broke with Nation of Islam. After a trip to Mecca, the civil rights activist spoke publicly about the potential for unity among ethnic groups. His reversal drew the wrath of some Nation of Islam supporters, who now viewed him as a traitor. The three main suspects in the Malcolm X murder case, two of whom - Aziz and Islam - were ultimately exonerated, were once members of the organization.