FBI documents detail 1983 assassination threat against Queen Elizabeth II

A trove of documents released this week by the FBI reveal details of an assassination threat against Queen Elizabeth II before a trip she and her husband took to the United States in 1983, as well as other security concerns linked to the Irish Republican Army.

The documents were released on the FBI’s website after a request under the Freedom of Information Act. The Queen, who was Britain’s longest-serving monarch, died in September.

The plot to kill the Queen was shared with a San Francisco Police Department officer in early February 1983, weeks before she and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh were due to travel to the United States , according to the documents. Specific names and other details are removed from the report.

The unidentified officer said he received a telephone call on February 4, 1983 from a man who claimed his daughter had been killed in Northern Ireland by a rubber bullet. The officer frequented an Irish pub called the Dovre Club, which the FBI described as a gathering place for Irish Republican Army sympathizers.

The 1983 visit, like some of the Queen’s other trips to the United States, took place during the 30-year sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland known as the Troubles. Some 3,600 people were killed during this period, when Britain deployed its army to the Protestant enclave to confront groups, including the IRA, who wanted to reunite Northern Ireland with the rest of the world. ‘Ireland.

The man on the phone shared plans to harm the Queen by ‘dropping an object from the Golden Gate Bridge onto the Royal Yacht Britannia’ as it sailed below or attempting to kill her during a visit to the National Park of Yosemite, according to the documents. Specific details of how either plot would have been accomplished were not provided.

Officials noted that the Secret Service intended to close the Golden Gate Bridge walkways when the yacht was in close proximity. While it is unclear whether any arrests were made, the documents note that the monarch’s visit was “uneventful”.

The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday morning.

The New York Times covered the Queen’s West Coast tour at the time, describing it as a sparkling affair punctuated by a visit to President Ronald Reagan’s ranch in California. Bad weather was reported to have forced the royal couple to fly rather than sail in the Bay Area, although they did take part in a ship-down celebration.

The Queen said her time on the West Coast was “a wonderful and enjoyable trip”.

Security concerns around some of the Queen’s other visits to the United States were also outlined in the documents. Prior to his trip to Kentucky in 1989, the FBI said it was unaware of any specific threats against the monarch, but noted that “the possibility of threats against the British monarchy is ever-present from the Irish Republican Army”.

On another trip, in 1991, the Queen attended a Baltimore Orioles game with President George Bush. FBI officials took note of a letter published in an Irish newspaper in Philadelphia before the trip.

Officials said Irish groups were planning to protest the Queen at the baseball game and an Irish group had booked a large block of tickets.

According to the Times, that night the Queen and others sat in the glass box reserved for the team owner. After greeting the players and before taking their seats, the Queen greeted the crowd, who erupted into cheers and applause.

nytimes Eur

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