Newly released FBI records reveal that activist Richard Masato Aoki, celebrated as a radical hero in the San Francisco Bay Area, covertly filed more than 500 reports with the bureau between 1961 and 1971 on a variety of activists and political groups.
A Freedom of Information Act request spurred the release of the prominent radical activist’s FBI informant file.
Released under court order, a 221-page file shows Richard Aoki’s long career as a radical activist and an FBI source of “extreme value.”
For a decade, Richard Aoki filed covert reports on a range of political groups, according to the FBI agent who recruited him. At the same time, he was providing the Panthers with weapons.
A young Richard Aoki is involved in a 1969 protest at Telegraph Avenue and Bancroft Way near the UC Berkeley campus. Courtesy of the Oakland Tribune The revelation that the revered radical leader Richard Aoki was an FBI informant was made in Seth Rosenfeld’s new book, “Subversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals, and Reagan’s Rise […]
Video: Ariane Wu Read full transcript The man who gave the Black Panther Party some of its first firearms and weapons training – which preceded fatal shootouts with Oakland police in the turbulent 1960s – was an undercover FBI informer, according to a former bureau agent and an FBI report. One of the […]
For decades, Richard Aoki touted radical ideas and beliefs as a member of groups like the Black Panthers and Socialist Workers Party. At the same time, though, FBI documents show that he was informing on these groups and their activities. Explore the timeline to learn more about the double life Aoki led.
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The man who helped arm the Black Panthers in the 1960s turns out to have been an FBI informant, according to FBI files uncovered by journalist Seth Rosenfeld. A mysterious character who sported sunglasses even at night, Richard Aoki was a militant leader of the Third World strike and an activist with the Asian American […]