FBI reveals assassination threat over Queen Elizabeth II’s 1983 U.S. visit

LONDON — The FBI uncovered a possible threat to kill Queen Elizabeth II through the Eighties whereas she was visiting the United States, recordsdata launched on-line by the company present.

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 protracted interval of sectarian violence generally known as the Troubles.

According to the 102-page doc on the FBI’s on-line vault, the threat got here in a cellphone name from a person who claimed his daughter had been killed by a rubber bullet fired by British forces in Northern Ireland.

The man mentioned he “was going to attempt to harm Queen Elizabeth” throughout her journey by dropping an object onto the royal yacht from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge or in an assault when she visited Yosemite National Park, the report mentioned.

The intelligence got here through a police officer who frequented a pub in style with sympathizers of the paramilitary Irish Republican Army (IRA), which opposed British rule in Northern Ireland, the report added.

The report additionally famous that the U.S. Secret Service was planning to shut the Golden Gate Bridge’s pedestrian walkway, however the doc didn’t include particulars of any arrests.

The recordsdata give an perception into the FBI’s efforts to handle dangers arising from the monarch’s personal and public visits to the United States from the Nineteen Seventies onward, they usually word that “several anonymous threatening telephone calls” about her had been made to native police.

Many of the perceived threats the FBI assessed had been associated 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 complicated

In one other entry about Elizabeth’s 1983 visit, police warned the FBI that “it will be very hard to anticipate and prevent incidents which may embarrass either the queen” or the then-president, Ronald Reagan.

In the tip, her visit befell with none main incidents. Reagan hosted the queen at an official dinner the place she toasted the United States’ contribution to “the western alliance,” and she or he in flip welcomed the Reagans on the Royal Yacht Britannia for his or her thirty first wedding ceremony anniversary. Some of the queen’s schedule was canceled due to heavy rain — prompting her to joke that the United States had caught British climate, The Washington Post reported at the time.

The FBI data reveal the company’s issues about different protests deliberate for the queen’s visits — together with a Northern Irish group’s plans to carry a soup line with free beer to protest the visit, demonstrations deliberate for when the queen attended a baseball sport and an incident wherein a pilot acquired a summons after flying a small aircraft trailing a banner bearing the phrases “England, get out of Ireland” over New York’s Battery Park through the monarch’s visit for the United States Bicentennial in 1976.

The FBI, which launched the data in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from NBC News, said extra recordsdata might exist, though it didn’t specify after they is likely to be launched.

From the late Sixties till the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, violence between Irish nationalists and pro-British unionists in Northern Ireland claimed the lives of three,600 folks and wounded tens of 1000’s extra.

25 years after Good Friday Agreement, cold peace prevails in Northern Ireland

The queen’s loss of life final yr sparked mixed reactions within the Republic of Ireland, the place the legacy of decades-long violence and colonialism are nonetheless felt.

In 2011, Elizabeth turned the primary British monarch to journey to the Republic of Ireland since its independence in 1922 — voicing her “sincere thoughts and deep sympathy” to “all those who have suffered as a consequence of our troubled past.”

“With the benefit of historical hindsight, we can all see things which we would wish had been done differently or not at all,” she mentioned on the time, a yr earlier than she shared a historic handshake with a former commander of the IRA.

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