The FBI had been keeping an eye on Malcolm as far back as 1950, and once J. Edgar Hoover (then director of the FBI) learned that Malcolm would be Elijah Muhammad’s likely successor, one COINTELPRO file straight up said “The secret to disabling the [NOI] movement, therefore, lay in neutralizing Malcolm X.” [1]

In 1958, John Ali was an advisor, friend, and housemate to Malcolm, and in 1963 became the National Secretary of the Black Muslims. When Elijah Muhammads health went south, John Ali took over handling the group’s finances and administration. At that time he was also working closely with the FBI and keeping an eye on Malcolm [2].