FBI files reveal 1983 threat to kill Queen Elizabeth II during U.S. visit

LONDON — The FBI uncovered a potential threat to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II during the 1980s when she was visiting the United States, according to files released online by the agency.

The Queen and her husband, Prince Philip, visited the United States from February to March 1983, at a time when Northern Ireland was experiencing a long period of sectarian violence known as the Troubles.

According to the 102-page document on the FBI’s online vault, the threat came in a phone call from a man who claimed his daughter had been shot by a rubber bullet fired by British forces in Northern Ireland. .

The man said he was “trying to harm Queen Elizabeth” by dropping something on the royal yacht from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco during her trip or when she visited Yosemite National Park, the report said. In attack.

The report added that the intelligence was obtained by a police officer who frequented a pub popular with sympathizers of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), a paramilitary group opposed to British rule in Northern Ireland.

The report also stated that the US Secret Service was planning to close the Golden Gate Bridge pedestrian walkway, but the document did not detail any arrests.

The files provide an insight into the FBI’s efforts to manage the threats posed by the king’s private and public visits to the United States since the 1970s, and they note that “many anonymous “Threatening telephone calls” were made to the local police.

Many of the threats the FBI assessed were related to the IRA, which Killed the queen’s cousin. Louis Mountbatten with a bomb planted on his fishing boat in Ireland in 1979.

For some Irish people, Queen Elizabeth II’s legacy is complex.

In another entry about Elizabeth’s 1983 visit, police warned the FBI that “it would be very difficult to anticipate and prevent incidents that might embarrass the Queen or then-President Ronald Reagan.”

In the end, their visit passed without any major incident. Reagan hosted the Queen at a state dinner where she toasted the United States’ contribution to the “Western Alliance” and she in turn welcomed Reagan aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia for their 31st wedding anniversary. Some of the Queen’s schedule was canceled due to heavy rain – prompting her to joke that the United States had caught up with British weather. The Washington Post reported at the time..

FBI records reveal the agency’s concerns about other protests planned for the Queen’s visits — including plans by a Northern Irish group to hold a soup line with free beer to protest the visit. Protests were planned when the Queen attended a baseball game and an incident in which a pilot was flown over New York’s Battery Park during her 1976 bicentennial visit to the United States with the words “Get out of England, Ireland” A summons was received after flying a small plane behind the banner.

The FBI, which released the information in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from NBC News, said Additional files may be on the way, though he didn’t say when they might be released.

From the late 1960s until the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, violence between Irish nationalists and pro-British unionists in Northern Ireland killed 3,600 people and injured tens of thousands.

25 years after the Good Friday Agreement, Northern Ireland remains at peace.

The Queen died last year. It evoked mixed reactions. In the Republic of Ireland, where the legacy of decades of violence and colonialism is still felt.

In 2011, Elizabeth became the first British monarch to visit the Republic of Ireland since its independence in 1922 – expressing her “sincere thoughts and deepest sympathy” for “all those who have suffered as a result of our troubled past”. suffered.”

“With the benefit of historical hindsight, we can all see things we wish had been done differently or not at all,” he said at the time, a year ago. He shared a historic handshake. With a former IRA commander.

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