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Official FBI papers on Huey P. Newton
Within one year of the formation
of the Black Panther Party, the FBI established a special counter-intelligence program called COINTELPRO, to neutralize political dissidents. Between the years 1956 and 1971, the FBI used the COINTELPRO program to investigate "radical" national political groups for intelligence that would lead to involvement of foreign enemies with these groups. This of course meant that the FBI specifically targeted American citizens. According to COINTELPRO documents, 5 groups were singled out for investigation - the Communist Party, the Socialist Workers' Party, White Hate Groups, Black Nationalist Hate Groups and the New Left. The Black Panther Party was specifically targeted and bore the brunt of the most damage.
COINTELPRO - the sabotage of legitimate dissent

COINTELPRO - resource site

The COINTELPRO PAPERS - Chapter 5 - Black Liberation Movement

Federal Bureau of Investigation

FBI - Freedom of Information Act

FBI - Freedom of Information Act - Black Panther Party
According to FBI documents, one of the purposes of the COINTELPRO program was to "expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize the activities of the Black nationalists". They wanted to prevent the rise of a black "messiah" and Martin Luther King Jr. had been amongst the candidates until his assassination in 1968 when the attention shifted to Huey P. Newton. Of the 295 documented actions taken by COINTELPRO to disrupt Black groups, 233 were directed against the Black Panther Party.

Democracy NOW! Radio show on COINTELPRO [external link]

In his doctoral thesis, War Against The Panthers: A Study of Repression in America, Newton accuses J. Edgar Hoover and COINTELPRO of: fostering a split between Eldridge Cleaver and himself through false letters and documents; creating discord between the BPP and other Black groups such as Ron Karenga's group United Slaves [US], which led to the murders of Alprentice "Bunchy" Carter and John Huggins at the University of California; and involvement in the murder of Fred Hampton, leader of the Chicago Chapter of the Black Panther Party in 1969.
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