NEW YORK (Feb. 10)
Police in Brooklyn a remain without any solid clues as to the motive or the identity of the killers in a shoot-out in a Bedford-Stuyvesant Black Muslim mosque last Monday night in which four persons were killed. It was reliably learned, however, that detectives in Brooklyn working on the case have been alerted to check out the possibility that the shooting spree was the result of a Black Muslim community in-fighting over a $15 million stake from Libya.
Police, who at first assumed that the shoot-out in Bedford-Stuyvesant was similar to other shoot-outs between rival Black Muslim groups in other cities, are now checking out a report that members of two rival Black Muslim groups clashed after Libya’s President Muammar Qaddafi turned thumbs down on a request for a $15 million loan made last summer by a delegation representing Elijah Muhammad’s Chicago-based Nation of Islam group.
According to sources close to the investigation of the shooting spree, the $15 million angle was brought to the attention of the police in a report last Wednesday in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s Daily News Bulletin. That report was based on information League to the JTA by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith. It noted that Qaddafi turned down the $15 million loan request after being notified by other Muslim groups that the Nation of. Islam is not authentically Moslem and is a racist group.
U.S. AWARE OF FUNDS
At the same time, high U.S. official sources in Washington told the JTA that they are aware that funds are coming into the coffers of Black Muslim groups in this country from Libya, among other Arab countries, ostensibly for religious and educational aid. According to these sources a number, of Libyan students in the U.S. sent word back to Qaddafi that, the Nation of Islam members were racists and not true to the teachings of Islam. Consequently, the sources noted, Qaddafi lost interest in the Nation of Islam group but might have continued funding other Black revolutionary or authentically Moslem groups here as he has been funding the ERA in Northern Ireland.
These sources said they had no other information concerning the JTA report that outright gifts had been extended to the Nation of Islam by the Persian Gulf states of Abu Dhabai, Bahrain, Qatar and by Syria. These gifts, according to the ADL, have totalled $280,000. In addition, the Nation of Islam had negotiated a $2,978,406 short-term loan in May 1972 then renegotiated that loan in Sept. 1972 so that payment would not be due until 1981.
A source close to the investigation of the Bedford-Stuyvesant shoot-out told the JTA that if the clash involved a rival Black Muslim group outside New York State and if it involved funds from a foreign government the investigation would move beyond city detectives to the FBI.