POLITICS

Read The FBI's File On 'Radical Extremist' Anti-Gay Pastor Fred Phelps

02/25/2015 03:08 pm ET | Updated Feb 25, 2015
ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Federal Bureau of Investigation had an extensive file on the late pastor of a fringe Christian church that was notorious for its public anti-gay demonstrations across the country, including at the funerals of soldiers who died in war.

Recently released FBI records on Fred Phelps, the head of the Westboro Baptist Church who died in March, show that the bureau considered him a "radical extremist" and had received complaints about Phelps and his church, as well as requests from his organization to investigate various threats.

Phelps' FBI file was released by the bureau in response to a Freedom of Information Act request and was first reported by The Hill. The lengthy file on Phelps includes information from the website of the Westboro Baptist Church and even a printout of the Wikipedia page on the organization.

One letter to the U.S. embassy in Denmark states that components of the FBI had launched several investigations into Phelps, although none had resulted in prosecution. The letter urged caution when dealing with Phelps and his followers but stated that the bureau did not consider them to be violent.

Read the records released by the FBI below.

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