FBI Vault Reveals 1980s Irish Nationalist Plot to Assassinate Queen Elizabeth II

The cache newly published documents FBI documents known as The Vault have revealed a possible plot to assassinate the late Queen Elizabeth II during a visit to the US with her husband, the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in the 1980s. The records, made public on Tuesday, reveal intelligence gathered by federal agents related to the threat to the Queen’s life four decades ago.

The Queen and Prince Philip made an official visit to California in February and March 1983. Authorities were called by a man who claimed his daughter was killed by a rubber bullet in Northern Ireland and he was seeking revenge against the British monarch.

The University of Ulster’s CAIN (Conflict and Politics in Northern Ireland) archives list 17 individuals as killed by plastic or rubber bullets during the period of conflict known as “The Troubles”. Eight of the victims are children, and all but one person is believed to be Catholic.

Three of the dead are women.

Kelly, Carol Ann, age 12

22 May 1981 catholic

Status: Civil (Civ), He was killed. British Army (BA)

Died three days after being shot by a plastic bullet while walking through Cherry Park in Twinbrook, Belfast.

Livingstone, Julie, 14

13 May 1981 catholic

Status: Civil (Civ), He was killed. British Army (BA)

Shot with a plastic bullet while walking on Stewartstown Road, Suffolk, Belfast.

McCabe, Nora, 30

09 July 1981 catholic

Status: Civil (Civ), He was killed. Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC)

Died a day after plastic bullet, Linden Street, Lower Falls, Belfast.

The anonymous caller tip came from the San Francisco Police Department and mentioned two possible methods of attack against Queen. One was to drop an object from the Golden Gate Bridge onto the royal yacht Britannia as it passed under. The caller’s alternate plan was to kill the queen when she visited Yosemite National Park. The document states, “It is the Secret Service’s intention to close the Golden Gate Bridge walkways as the cruise ship approaches.”

Many of the Queen’s visits to the US took place during The Troubles, and the intelligence reflects security concerns about Irish nationalists, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and sympathizers. In 1979, Queen Elizabeth’s cousin Louis Mountbatten was assassinated by the Provisional IRA, who planted a bomb on his fishing boat. Three others died in the attack, including two children.

One of the documents states that before the queen’s private visit to Kentucky in 1989, while the FBI was not aware of any specific threats, “the possibility of threats against the British monarchy by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) was always present.”

Elsewhere in the files, a document created ahead of the Queen’s state visit in 1991 outlines concerns about Irish groups staging protests at several scheduled meetings, including a baseball game the monarch was scheduled to attend in Baltimore and the White House.

FILE – This Wednesday, 1991 In this 15-file photo, U.S. President George W. Bush escorts Queen Elizabeth II from the White House to a helicopter en route to Baltimore to watch her first Major League Baseball game in Washington (AP Photo/Doug Mills, File). )

Using one of the Philadelphia Irish papers called Irish editionThe FBI file said:

The article states that anti-British sentiment is growing due to the injustice done to the Birmingham Six by a corrupt English judicial system and the brutal killings of unarmed Irish nationalists in the Six Counties by loyalist death squads. Although the article contained no threats against the president or the queen, the statements could be viewed as inflammatory. The article stated that the Irish band had booked grandstand tickets.

While the days of The Troubles were in the bygone era, sentiments of Irish nationalism have reawakened with the Brexit movement, which inevitably put a physical and symbolic customs border between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. The accession of King Charles III also reignited talk of some countries aspiring leave the Commonwealth choose the republic.

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