which stands for the Federal Bureau of Investigation's "Counter-intelligence" program, began in 1967. Its architect, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, created it to monitor "Black nationalist hate groups" and their leaders, which included, by Hoover's definition, Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

COINTEL-PRO created or instigated several intra-and inter-group disruptions for the Black Panther Party. Two of the most notorious examples of these disruptions are the violent conflict between the Panthers and US (United Slaves), a cultural nationalist organization headed by Maulana Karenga (now known as the founder of Kwanzaa, an African-American holiday), and between the Panthers and the Blackstone Rangers, a Chicago street gang that the Panthers were attempting to recruit into the struggle.

The Bureau used wiretaps, false letters, infiltration and press leaks to accomplish their objectives. Between 1968 and 1970, the Bureau, assisted by local police, harassed Panthers nationwide.


Copyright 2001-, Terry Muse
Revised: November 6, 2001
Contact: Terry Muse