Queen Elizabeth faced assassination threat in US – FBI

Newly released documents detailed an “ever-present” danger to the British monarch

A trove of newly released FBI documents has detailed an alleged IRA plot to kill Queen Elizabeth while the British monarch was on a state visit to the US in 1983.

The documents, which are viewable on the FBI’s online vault following their release on Monday, claim that federal agents received credible intelligence of threats to the Queen’s life when she and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, were visiting California 40 years ago.

According to the documents, a San Francisco police officer received a call from “a man who claimed his daughter had been killed in Northern Ireland by a rubber bullet” following a meeting at a bar. The bar in question was described as being “frequented by sympathizers with the Provisional Irish Republican Army.” 

The decades-old intelligence adds that the man threatened to harm the monarch “either by dropping some object off the Golden Gate Bridge on to the royal yacht Britannia when it sails underneath, or would attempt to kill Queen Elizabeth when she visited Yosemite national park.” 

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The US Secret Service intended to close the walkways on the bridge in San Francisco as the yacht neared, the documents say, although they make no mention of security arrangements for the Queen’s visit to Yosemite. No details of any arrests related to the investigation were noted.

Another document in the 103 pages released by the FBI, which were shared following a freedom of information request by US media outlets, shows that a man faced legal proceedings in 1976 for flying a small plane over New York with a sign which read “England, Get out of Ireland,” while the Queen was visiting the city.

In 1989, an internal FBI memo also detailed what documents referred to as an “ever-present” threat towards the British monarchy from the Irish Republican Army (IRA), while in 1991 the Secret Service was warned that “Irish groups” were planning to protest en masse against the Queen at a baseball game she planned to attend along with then-US President George H.W. Bush.

The Queen’s second-cousin, Lord Mountbatten, was assassinated by an IRA bomb in County Sligo, Ireland in 1979

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