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Death threats constant for Edward Kennedy

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Death threats constant for Kennedy

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For decades after gunmen shot down his brothers, Sen. Edward Kennedy lived under constant assassination threats of his own as he became a target for extremist rage, previously private FBI documents disclosed Monday.

Five years after President John F. Kennedy was killed in 1963 and shortly after Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was shot in 1968, one letter warned that the third brother was next: "Ted Kennedy number three to be assassinated on Oct. 25, 1968. The Kennedy residence must be well protected on that date."

In 1985, the threats continued, this time including the Republican president as well as the liberal Democratic senator: "Brass tacks, I'm gonna kill Kennedy and (President Ronald) Reagan, and I really mean it."

Releasing 2,352 pages from Kennedy's FBI file, many of them concerning threats over the years, the FBI said on its website: "These threats originated from multiple sources, including individuals, anonymous persons and members of radical groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, 'Minutemen' organizations and the National Socialist White People's Party."

Some of the threats prompted investigations, and some re­sult-­ed in warnings to Kennedy or local law enforcement authorities. There is no indication any attempts were carried out.

The slayings of John and Robert Kennedy cast a long shadow on the youngest brother's life and prompted fears that he, too, would be targeted by an assassin's bullet. Indeed, Kennedy wrote in his memoir, True Compass, that after his brothers were killed he was easily startled by loud sounds and would hit the deck whenever a car backfired. He died last year at 77 after fighting brain cancer.

The FBI said it has more documents on threats to Kennedy that it plans to make public once the agency finishes reviewing them.

Associated Press

Death threats constant for Edward Kennedy

06/15/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 12:16am]

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