March 31, 1998 in Nation/World

Malcolm X Killer Will Lead Mosque

Associated Press

A man who spent 19 years in prison for killing Malcolm X said Monday that the Nation of Islam has appointed him to head the Harlem mosque where the civil rights leader preached in the 1950s.

At a news conference outside Mosque No. 7., Muhammad Abdul Aziz also denied that he played any role in the assassination of Malcolm X and said a new lie-detector test backs him up.

“I did not kill Malcolm X,” said the 59-year-old Aziz, who has always proclaimed his innocence.

Aziz said he will head the mosque and would also be Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s new regional security chief, assigned to reorganize the group’s paramilitary Fruit of Islam guards, largely dormant since Malcolm X was killed.

Malcolm X was gunned down at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem on Feb. 21, 1965. Aziz and two other men were sent to prison for the slaying of the African American leader.

© Copyright 1998 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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