The FBI revealed the existence of a possible IRA plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II during a 1983 visit to the United States.
Newly released FBI records show agents warned of an “ever-present” threat to the late monarch on 11 visits to the US during her seven-decade reign.
The files, which appear in the FBI’s vault containing information of great public interest, show that they received information that Queen Elizabeth may have been targeted by an Irish Republican Army sympathizer, who had blamed the death of his daughter in Northern Ireland. Ireland wanted revenge on her 1983 trip. .
According to the files, a San Francisco police officer informed federal agents that on February 4, 1983, he received a phone call from a man he knew socially from drinking in Irish bars in the city, about a month before the Queen and Prince Philip were due to are hosted by Ronald Reagan at the White House.
The unnamed man claimed he would try to harm Queen Elizabeth by dropping an object from the Golden Gate Bridge onto the royal yacht Britannia as it sailed underneath, or by attempting to kill her when she visited Yosemite National Park, the statement said. confidential FBI memo. .
The 102 pages of FBI records on Queen Elizabeth were released under the Freedom of Information Act after media requests were made following her death last September.
The documents do not reveal whether the murder plot developed beyond the angry words of a single teenager.
But they do show how seriously federal agents took potential threats against the royals during official visits prior to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement that largely ended the sectarian violence known as the Troubles in 1998.
On a trip to New York for the 1976 U.S. bicentennial celebrations, an NYPD intelligence officer reported subpoenaing a pilot who had flown over a city park with a sign reading “England, Get out of Ireland’.
And prior to a 1989 visit to Boston, New York, and the southern United States, an FBI memo warned that “the possibility of threats against the British monarchy is ever present by the Irish Republican Army (IRA).”
“Boston and New York are requested to remain alert to threats against Queen Elizabeth II by IRA members and to notify Louisville immediately,” the memo said.
Two years later, the agency revealed its concern that Irish terrorist groups planned to protest Elizabeth’s attendance at a Baltimore Orioles baseball game and event at the White House during a 1991 state visit.
Citing a story in a Philadelphia-based newspaper called Irish editionsaid the FBI: “The article said anti-British sentiment is running high due to the much publicized injustice done to the Birmingham Six by the corrupt English justice system and the recent outbreak of brutal killings of unarmed Irish nationalists in the six counties by loyalist death squads.”
The Birmingham Six were six Irish men wrongly convicted and imprisoned for carrying out two deadly bombings in the English city in the mid-1970s.
The group was released from prison months before the Queen’s visit to the US in 1991 after an appeal found evidence that the police had fabricated evidence and tortured the men during interrogation.
The FBI noted that while the article contained no threats against the Queen or then-President George HW Bush, the statements could be considered inflammatory.
“The article stated that an Irish group had reserved a large block of grandstand tickets.”