(News) — Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom faced a possible assassination threat 40 years ago, before a trip to the United States, according to documents recently released by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI, for its acronym in English). ).
A 103-page set was posted Tuesday on the FBI’s online records site, The Vault. The files cover preparations for several trips the late queen made to the United States, including an official West Coast tour with her husband, Prince Philip, in 1983.
One document appears to detail a tip collected about a month before that visit by San Francisco Police regarding a phone call from “a man who claimed his daughter had been killed in Northern Ireland by a rubber bullet.”
It continues: “This man further claimed that he was going to try to harm Queen Elizabeth and that he would do so either by dropping something from the Golden Gate Bridge onto the royal yacht Britannia as it sailed below, or by trying to kill the queen.” Elizabeth when she visited Yosemite National Park.
The same document states that it was “the intention of the Secret Service to close the walkways of the Golden Gate Bridge when the yacht approaches.” There is no mention of any precautions that might have been taken in the national park, nor do the files reveal whether any arrests were made.
The files illustrate the FBI’s hypervigilance over possible threats to the visiting British monarch, collaboration with the US Secret Service and concern for the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and its supporters during royal visits.
The Queen’s cousin, Louis Mountbatten, was assassinated by the Provisional IRA in 1979, using a bomb planted on his fishing boat. Three other people died in the same explosion, including two children. Many of the queen’s trips to the US took place amid the riots in Northern Ireland and the documents reveal that the FBI closely monitored preparations for the royal visits over the years.
Prior to a private visit to Kentucky in 1989, one document notes that although the FBI was unaware of any specific threats against the queen, “the possibility of threats against the British monarchy is ever present from the Irish Republican Army (IRA). )”.
Elsewhere in the archives, a preparatory document for the Queen’s 1991 state visit outlines concerns about Irish groups organizing protests at various scheduled engagements, including a baseball match the monarch was due to attend and a act at the White House. Quoting information printed in an Irish newspaper in Philadelphia entitled Irish Edition, the page stated: “The article claimed that anti-British sentiments are running high as a result of the injustices inflicted on the Birmingham Six by the corrupt English judicial system and the recent wave of brutal murders of unarmed Irish nationalists in all six counties by loyalist death squads”.
And it added: “Although the article did not contain threats against the president or the queen, the statements could be considered inflammatory. The article claimed that an Irish group had reserved a large block of tickets for the main stand.”
Another document in the archive, dated July 1976, mentions an occasion when the queen traveled back across the Atlantic to help celebrate America’s bicentennial, with stops in Philadelphia, Washington and New York.
During that trip, the FBI documents reveal, a pilot was issued a citation for flying over Battery Park in a small two-seater plane carrying a sign reading “England, get out of Ireland.”
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