Plot to kill Queen Elizabeth II during 1983 San Francisco visit revealed in FBI documents

The FBI has revealed a potential threat to Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to the United States in 1983. The documents were released this week. FBI records website. Elizabeth Died last September After 70 years in power

The Queen visits the West Coast with her husband. Prince Philipincluded a stop in San Francisco in March 1983. CBS San Francisco reported. That one document detailed a tip submitted by San Francisco police about a month before the visit about “a man who claimed his daughter had been shot with a rubber bullet in Northern Ireland. “

Four years earlier in 1979, IRA paramilitaries opposed to British rule in Northern Ireland had killed Louis Mountbatten, the last colonial governor of India and Philip’s uncle, in a bomb attack.

According to the documents, the man said he was going to “try to harm Queen Elizabeth” by either dropping something from the Golden Gate Bridge onto the Queen’s royal yacht or by trying to kill her during a visit to Yosemite National Park. had lived. The Secret Service plans to close the bridge as the yacht approaches, the documents said.

Queen Elizabeth gives a speech as President Ronald Reagan looks on during a banquet in San Francisco on March 3, 1983.
Queen Elizabeth gives a speech as President Ronald Reagan looks on during a banquet in San Francisco on March 3, 1983.

Anwar Hussain/Getty Images

The names of the San Francisco police officer who received the phone call and the caller were redacted in the documents, which did not say whether Yosemite was alerted or if any arrests were made. A memo dated March 7, 1983 indicated that the Queen had completed her US tour “without incident” and that “no further investigation is required.”

A separate file of the documents, dated 1989, indicated that while the FBI was not aware of any specific threats against the Queen, “the possibility of threats against the British Monarchy from the Irish Republican Army has always existed.” “

In 1970, suspected IRA sympathizers attempted unsuccessfully to derail the Elizabeth train west of Sydney, while in 1981 the IRA attempted to bomb it during a visit to Shetland, on the north-east coast of Scotland. of

That same year, a mentally disturbed teenager fired a single shot at the Queen’s car during a visit to New Zealand. Christopher Lewis opened fire as he visited the South Island city of Dunedin.

The failed attempt was covered up by police and only came to light in 2018 when New Zealand’s Security Intelligence Service spy agency released the documents following a media request.

Also in 1981, another teenager fired six shots at Elizabeth during the King’s Trooping the Color birthday parade in central London.

The queen quickly calmed her startled horse and rode on while the young man told the soldiers who had disarmed him that he “wanted to be famous.”

The following year, in one of the most famous security breaches of his reign, Michael Fagan managed to enter the Queen’s bedroom and chat with her for 10 minutes before raising the alarm.

The unemployed decorator had a few drinks and scaled the walls of Buckingham Palace, climbing a drain pipe to enter the Queen’s London residence.

He wandered into her bedroom and reportedly sat on the end of the bed to talk to the distraught monarch, before a palace staff ushered him away with the promise of a shot of whisky. .

The FBI documents detail other security concerns surrounding the Queen’s visits to various US cities. When she attended a Baltimore Orioles game with President George HW Bush in May 1991, several dozen protesters at the park chanted slogans denouncing Britain’s policy in Northern Ireland.

On 8 September 2022, after more than 70 years on the British throne, Elizabeth died at Balmoral Castle, her official residence in Scotland. She was 96 years old.

Agence France-Presse contributed to this report.

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