IRA plot to kill Queen Elizabeth in San Francisco during 1983 trip to USA revealed in unsealed FBI documents

An IRA plot to kill Queen Elizabeth II during a visit to the USA in the 1980s has been uncovered in FBI documents.

Newly-released FBI documents show that agents were concerned of an “ever-present” threat to the Queen during 11 visits to the US across her seven-decade reign. The FBI’s vault files containing information of high public interest, show they received intelligence that Queen Elizabeth might be targeted by an Irish Republican Army sympathiser, who wanted to avenge the death of his daughter in Northern Ireland, on her 1983 trip

According to the files, a San Francisco police officer informed FBI agents he had received a call from a man he knew from drinking at Irish bars in the city on February 4, 1983, about a month before the Queen and Prince Philip were due to visit. The FBI memo states the man claimed he was going to attempt to harm Queen Elizabeth by dropping an object off the Golden Gate Bridge onto the royal yacht Britannia as it sailed underneath.

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The 102 pages of records about the monarch’s trips were publicly released on Monday in response to a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by NBC News and other media, following the Queen’s death last year. Police also warned FBI agents that due to the wide variety of protesters against both Ronald Reagan and the British monarch, “it will be very hard to anticipate and prevent incidents which may embarrass either the queen or the president.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 23: Queen Elizabeth II is given a tour by Keith Weed, President of the Royal Horticultural Society during a visit to The Chelsea Flower Show 2022 at the Royal Hospital Chelsea on May 23, 2022 in London, England. The Chelsea Flower Show returns to its usual place in the horticultural calendar after being cancelled in 2020 and postponed in 2021 due to the Covid pandemic. This year sees the Show celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and also a theme of calm and mindfulness running through the garden designs. (Photo by Paul Grover - Pool / Getty Images)LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 23: Queen Elizabeth II is given a tour by Keith Weed, President of the Royal Horticultural Society during a visit to The Chelsea Flower Show 2022 at the Royal Hospital Chelsea on May 23, 2022 in London, England. The Chelsea Flower Show returns to its usual place in the horticultural calendar after being cancelled in 2020 and postponed in 2021 due to the Covid pandemic. This year sees the Show celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and also a theme of calm and mindfulness running through the garden designs. (Photo by Paul Grover - Pool / Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 23: Queen Elizabeth II is given a tour by Keith Weed, President of the Royal Horticultural Society during a visit to The Chelsea Flower Show 2022 at the Royal Hospital Chelsea on May 23, 2022 in London, England. The Chelsea Flower Show returns to its usual place in the horticultural calendar after being cancelled in 2020 and postponed in 2021 due to the Covid pandemic. This year sees the Show celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and also a theme of calm and mindfulness running through the garden designs. (Photo by Paul Grover - Pool / Getty Images) | Getty Images

Records do not indicate if the FBI or other law enforcement agencies arrested anyone during that or any other visit. Nor do they confirm just how serious the threat was treated by the FBI or other security forces.

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