US issues warning about possible terror attacks at LGBTQ+ Pride events worldwide

US officials have issued a warning about potential terror attacks at LGBTQ+ Pride events worldwide in advance of Pride Month.

Pride Month starts in June this year, and authorities in the USA have warned its citizens heading abroad for Pride events to “exercise increased caution”. The State Department states there is “increased potential for foreign terrorist organization-inspired violence” during Pride Month around the world.

“Stay alert in locations frequented by tourists, including Pride celebrations,” The State Department warned on 17 May. 

The Pride Month warning comes just days after the FBI and Department of Homeland Security released a public alert warning that foreign terrorist organisations and their supporters could seek to “exploit increased gatherings associated with the upcoming June 2024 Pride Month” in the US.

No specific events or locations were mentioned, but the alert did highlight previous attacks by foreign terror groups and their supporters in targeting LGBTQ+ events and venues.

In the 2016 attack at Pulse nightclub, 49 people lost their lives. (Twitter)

It referred to specific examples of ISIS pedalling anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric online and calling on followers to attack the community, as well as the arrest of three ISIS followers for an attempted attack on a Pride parade in Vienna, Austria. 

The alert also noted that 12 June will mark the eighth anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, which saw 49 people killed and 53 wounded. It noted that pro-ISIS messaging praised the attack at the time.

In a bid to mitigate threats of such attacks, the FBI has called for people to be aware of their surroundings at all times, always report suspicious activity to the authorities and call 911 if it’s an emergency. 

Last year, an FBI report revealed a concerning rise in anti-LGBTQ+, anti-Semitic, and anti-Black hate crimes throughout 2022. 

The Crime in the Nation report, which analyses over 11 million criminal offences committed in the US from over 15,000 agencies, reported that hate crimes based on sexual orientation have seen a sharp spike from 2021 to 2022. 

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