Thatcher in December 1991

Thatcher in December 1991

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's April 1992 visit to the Twin Cities got little attention from the public, given that it coincided with the NCCA Final Four's championship game  at the Metrodome. The Iron Lady's speech at the Minneapolis Convention Center was also closed to the public, as she talked about post-Cold War geopolitics to 4,000 Norwest Bank customers.

FBI files recently obtained by MuckRock, a 'collaborative news" web site that obtains interesting public records, reveal that the agency was concerned that a pro-Irish independence radical might do something bad to Thatcher. While the redactions of names make it somewhat difficult to follow, it appears FBI agents were concerned that a group planning a protest, Minnesotans for a United Ireland (MFUI). A member of the group had asked a Norwest employee where Thatcher would be staying. 

"Although the MFUI has no history of violence, they have been known to be involved with the harboring of fugitives," a March 1992 teletype said. "[Redacted] expressed some concerns regarding the fact that the MFUI have indicated very little baout what they are planning and that they have planned to do so little."

Thatcher was spending the night of April 5, 1992, at the St. Paul Hotel, but the FBI suggested notifying some local contact that "they might wish to discretely [sic] place Thatcher in a different hotel under an assumed identity." Whether that happened, the files do no indicate. But Thatcher clearly came through the experience unscathed.

Below are the relevant records from the FBI files. You can go to MuckRock to read all the records about Thatcher released by the FBI.

 

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