A noted 1960s San Francisco-area radical who provided guns and training to the Black Panthers was an FBI informant, according to the Center for Investigative Reporting.
In addition to spying on the Panthers since their founding in Oakland, Richard Masato Aoki also fed the feds information about the Communist Party, Socialist Workers Party and its Young Socialist Alliance, CIR says, citing the FBI agent who recruited Aoki and agency documents.
"He was my informant. I developed him," former FBI agent Burney Threadgill Jr. told reporter Seth Rosenfeld. "He was one of the best sources we had."
The revelation emerged while Rosenfeld was researching his book Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power, which will be published Tuesday.