Enrique Tarrio, the leader of the Proud Boys, has suggested that the FBI orchestrated the murder of Malcolm X and branded the agency “the enemy of the people”—just weeks after it was reported that he used to work as an FBI informer.
The chairman of the far-right group was reacting to the release of a deathbed confession letter from a former NYPD officer, which claims police and the FBI conspired to have the Black civil rights icon murdered 56 years ago.
Malcolm X was shot and killed at New York’s Audubon Ballroom on February 21, 1965. Three members of the Nation of Islam, the group that Malcolm X had left a year earlier, were convicted of his murder.
Tarrio wrote on the reinstated social media app Parler: “How long have we been lied to? How about MLK [Martin Luther King]? Did the FBI kill him too?”
Referring to the 1993 siege in Texas that left more than 75 people dead, he went on: “Remember Waco? Are your eyes opened yet?
“I’ll be put in chains for this…but… The FBI is and has always been the enemy of the people.”
Tarrio also wrote about the agency on the encrypted messaging app Telegram, saying: “This is another reminder that your FBI is a legalized gang of mafia style enforcers for the U.S. Government crime syndicate. We know you see this FBI.”
The letter by former police officer Raymond Wood was made public in the wake of his death. Wood states that during his time in the NYPD, he committed actions that were “deplorable and detrimental to the advancement of my own Black people.”
This includes attempting to lure two members of Malcolm X’s security team, Walter Bowe and Khaleel Sayyed, into a plot to bomb the Statue of Liberty so they could be arrested and would not be available to protect the civil rights leader as he gave his speech at the Audubon Ballroom.
“On February 16, 1965, the Statue of Liberty plot was carried out and the men were arrested just days before the assassination of Malcolm,” Raymond wrote. “At that time I was not aware that Malcolm X was the target.”
Wood added that days later, Thomas Johnson, aka Khalil Islam, was arrested and wrongfully convicted to “protect my cover and the secrets of the FBI and NYPD.” Johnson was freed on work release in 1988 and died in 2009.
Tarrio‘s attack on the FBI comes after reports last month that he worked for the bureau and other law enforcement agencies in order to receive a shorter sentence for fraud.
He was reported to have worked undercover to help prosecute 13 people for offenses such as drug and people smuggling after an arrest in 2012.
The details of Tarrio’s undercover work were revealed by the former federal prosecutor in his case, Vanessa Singh Johannes, and in a 2014 Miami federal court transcript obtained by Reuters.
An FBI agent told the 2014 hearing he was a “key component” in helping police crack a number of drug cases. His lawyer at the time, Jeffrey Feiler, also said Tarrio was a “prolific” cooperator
“I don’t know any of this,” Tarrio told Reuters when asked about the court transcript. “I don’t recall any of this.”
He admitted that his fraud sentence had been reduced from 30 months to 16 months, but denied this had anything to do with work as an informant.
Tarrio and his attorney have been contacted for comment.