Queen Elizabeth II was in danger of being assassinated during her visit to the United States in 1983, the FBI has revealed by releasing a series of documents detailing an IRA plot. The FBI made public several documents from the 80s, related to Queen Elizabeth’s visit to the USA.
According to them, the American agency feared that the sovereign was in danger and that she could be assassinated as a result of a plot by the IRA (Irish Republican Army), the paramilitary organization that wanted the reunification of Ireland with the British province of Northern Ireland and that was behind the Troubles, the three decades of larval conflict waged against British rule by Irish paramilitaries.
The death threat was made to a San Francisco police officer. According to the document, a policeman who frequented an Irish pub in the city alerted federal agents to a phone call from a man he met there.
He allegedly wanted revenge for killing his daughter in Northern Ireland “with a rubber bullet”.
The threat came on February 4, 1983, a month before the Queen and Prince Philip’s visit to California.
“He intended to harm Queen Elizabeth, and he wanted to do it either by throwing a heavy object from the Golden Gate Bridge while the royal yacht was sailing under the bridge, or by trying to assassinate her while she was visiting Yosemite National Park.”
It is unclear what concrete steps federal agents took to prevent an incident at Yosemite. The FBI did not release details of any arrests made in connection with the case at the time, but the plan was to close the bridge as the yacht passed.
The 102-page collection of documents was uploaded to the FBI’s public information website on Monday after a Freedom of Information Act request was made by US media organisations.
The Queen’s visits to the US came during a period of heightened tensions in Northern Ireland
Many of the Queen’s visits to the US, including the one in 1983, were made during the Troubles, when tensions in Northern Ireland were at their height and the situation was becoming increasingly complicated.
In 1976, the Queen visited on the occasion of the bicentennial anniversary of the United States’ independence.
The documents also detail the moment a small plane flew over Battery Park with a banner reading “England, leave Ireland”.
According to the documents, the FBI remained vigilant throughout these visits to protect the British sovereign from possible threats from Irish insurgents.
Before a personal visit to the state of Kentucky in 1989, an internal FBI document drew attention to the “possibility of threats to the British monarchy” that were “always expected from the IRA”.
“Boston and New York must remain alert for possible threats against Queen Elizabeth II from members of the IRA and maintain the same vigilance in Louisville.”
The Queen visited the state of Kentucky several times, where she enjoyed horse racing, being passionate about this sport.
During a state visit in 1991, the Queen was to attend a baseball game with President George Bush – the FBI warned that “Irish groups” were planning protests at the stadium and that one of them was booking a large number of tickets.
Editor: Adrian Dumitru
Leave a Reply