Queen Elizabeth II was the target of a coup attempt in 1983, according to the FBI


In an interview with ABC News reported in July 2018, retired FBI agent Danny Coulson alleged that he and other FBI agents had foiled a plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II during her 1983 tour of the United States. Coulson also revealed that the plot had come from a mysterious Egyptian man who had made several threats against the queen prior to her tour.

In addition to Coulson’s revelations, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act in 2015 detail the FBI’s investigation into the man and the threat. The documents indicated that the man had contacted members of Congress and the FBI in July of 1983 and had claimed he had been hired by an international terrorist group planning to launch an assassination attempt on the Queen.

The FBI tracked the man and ran surveillance on him, eventually leading them to believe he was a “calculated and delusional gambler” rather than a domestic or international terrorist, but they nevertheless took the threat seriously and made plans to protect the Queen during her visit. In the end, the man was committed to an institution for mental health treatment, and no attempt was ever made on her life.

The incident is a reminder of the need for continued vigilance against potential threats facing the Royal Family and other heads of state. It is due to the FBI’s prompt response in this case, and similar instances of quick action that the Queen has been able to continue traveling without fear.