The Man Who Armed the Panthers





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Published on Aug 20, 2012

The man who armed the Black Panthers turns out to have been an FBI informant. FBI files, uncovered by journalist Seth Rosenfeld, reveal that Richard Aoki, a prominent activist in the 1960s who was the first to supply the Black Panthers with guns and weapons training, was also an undercover FBI source. A mysterious character who always sported sunglasses, even at night, Aoki was a militant leader of the Third World Strike and an activist with the Asian American Political Alliance at UC Berkeley.

The revelation about Aoki's role as an informant emerged from FBI files obtained by Rosenfeld and an interview with the FBI agent who says he recruited Aoki. Rosenfeld has spent the last 30 years researching the history of the FBI and radicals in Berkeley for his new book, "Subversives," published August 21, 2012.

FBI files reveal new details:

For more information:

Produced and edited by Ariane Wu
Reported by Seth Rosenfeld

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