FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 1995

USA (612) 348-1500

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota -- The U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota, David L. Lillehaug, announced today that a federal grand jury has indicted Qubilah Shabazz, the daughter of the late Malcolm X (El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz). She was charged with using the telephone and traveling interstate in the course of hiring another person to murder Minister Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam. Shabazz, age 34, formerly resided in New York City and has lived in Minneapolis since September 1994. She voluntarily surrendered to authorities at 9:00 a.m. CST. She makes her initial court appearance at 2:"45 p.m. CST today in the U.S. Courthouse in Minneapolis before Magistrate Judge Jonathan G. Lebedoff. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Court Judge James M. Rosenbaum in Minneapolis. The indictment charges eight counts of use of an interstate commerce facility -- in this case, the telephone -- in the course of a murder for hire scheme. The eight conversations referenced were in July and August of 1994. Shabazz is also charged in the indictment with one count of interstate travel in connection with the murder for hire plot. The grand jury charges that Shabazz traveled from New York to Minnesota and that, after arriving in Minnesota, she made a partial payment to the person she hired to kill Farrakhan. The identity of the person with whom Shabazz allegedly contracted is not disclosed in the indictment. The U.S. Attorney said only that he expects that person to be a witness at trial. At all times mentioned in the indictment to the present, no physical attempt on Louis Farrakhan's life was made, nor was he in immediate danger. Farrakhan, who resides in Chicago, was notified about the investigation by the FBI, which was monitoring the alleged scheme by audiotape, videotape, surveillance, and other investigative methods. Today Farrakhan was informed by the FBI about the indictment as it was being returned by the federal grand jury. U.S. Attorney Lillehaug commented, "This is an extraordinary case, by virtue of its historical context and the identities of the defendant and alleged target. However, as we are intent that this case be tried fairly by twelve Minnesota jurors, we'll wait until trial to disclose the details of the alleged scheme, including the defendant's motive." If convicted, the defendant faces maximum sentence on each count of ten years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine. Any sentence would be determined by a U.S. District Court Judge based on the federal sentencing guidelines. The indictment is the result of seven-month investigation by the Minneapolis office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeanne Graham, Chief of the Office's Violent and General Crimes Section, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Dunne are prosecuting the case. #### 95-023