FBI reveals threats to Edward Kennedy

Previously secret FBI records released yesterday show there were death threats against Senator Edward Kennedy as long as five years after his failed 1980 bid for the presidency.

The documents showed that on 23 May 1985, the US Capitol Police passed on to the FBI a copy of a letter sent to the Secret Service, ostensibly by a resident of Warren, Michigan. The sender, whose name was redacted, declared: "Brass tacks, I'm gonna kill Kennedy and [President Ronald] Reagan, and I really mean it."

The FBI considered the sender armed and dangerous, but an accompanying psychological analysis said she was "merely ventilating her frustrations and projecting her inadequacies".

The threat was among 2,352 pages of documents the FBI posted on its website regarding the late senator, who died last year at the age of 77 from brain cancer. Most of the documents are about death threats and extortion attempts against the Massachusetts Democrat.

The release of the documents had been highly anticipated by historians, scholars and others interested in the life and long public career of one of America's most prominent politicians. Kennedy faced death threats when he ran for president in 1980 and before that in the years following the assassinations of his older brothers, President John F Kennedy and Senator Robert F Kennedy.

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