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FBI’s Special Measures Thwart Potential Assassination Plot Targeting Queen Elizabeth II during 1983 US Visit

The FBI took extraordinary steps to avert a potential assassination attempt on Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to the United States in 1983, as revealed in recently released documents following the Queen’s passing. During her trip to the US that year, Queen Elizabeth met with President Ronald Reagan and US First Lady Nancy Reagan, cementing diplomatic ties between the two nations.

According to the disclosed documents, the FBI perceived a constant and imminent threat from the Irish terrorist organization IRA. In anticipation of the Queen's visits to the United States, the Federal Police Service took active measures to ensure her security.

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In February 1983, just prior to Queen Elizabeth's scheduled visit to the American West Coast, the FBI was contacted by a local police officer in San Francisco. The officer reported encountering an individual in an Irish bar who had expressed intentions to assassinate the Queen.

As per police testimony, two primary assassination plans were revealed. The first involved dropping objects from the Golden Gate Bridge onto the Queen's yacht, Britannia, during its sail. Alternatively, the plan was to carry out the attack during her visit to Yosemite National Park.

The motive behind the intended murder, as conveyed by the informant, stemmed from the perpetrator seeking revenge for his own daughter's death, allegedly caused by a rubber bullet in Northern Ireland.

In response to these threats, the FBI decided to close the walkways near the Golden Gate Bridge as the Queen's yacht approached. However, details regarding security measures taken during the visit to Yosemite National Park remain unclear. The recently released 102-page document does not indicate any arrests or detentions related to the assassination plans.

Even during subsequent visits to the USA, the IRA's threat was assessed as significant. Before Queen Elizabeth's visit to Kentucky in 1989, an internal FBI memo cautioned personnel in Boston and New York to be prepared for "any threat directed against Queen Elizabeth II by IRA members."

During a state visit in 1991, when the Queen was scheduled to attend a basketball game with then-President George H. Bush, the FBI warned of potential demonstrations by "Irish groups" at the arena, according to the BBC.

The newly revealed documents shed light on the relentless efforts by the FBI to safeguard Queen Elizabeth II during her visits to the United States. By implementing robust security measures, such as closing off access to key areas and issuing warnings to law enforcement personnel in high-risk regions, the FBI played a crucial role in foiling potential attacks by IRA members.

These revelations provide a deeper understanding of the significant security challenges faced by the Queen during her trips abroad and highlight the ongoing efforts of law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of visiting dignitaries. The documents also serve as a testament to the enduring bond between the United States and the United Kingdom, demonstrating the commitment to preserving diplomatic relations even in the face of security threats.

As the Queen's legacy lives on, these revelations serve as a reminder of the constant vigilance required to protect world leaders from harm, fostering a safer and more secure environment for international diplomacy.

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