June 17, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

FBI and DHS Warn of Potential Threats to LGBTQIA+ Events in June

Foreign Terrorist Organizations Could Target Pride Celebrations

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are alerting the public to potential threats from foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs) or their supporters targeting LGBTQIA+ events and venues. The announcement aims to raise awareness ahead of the upcoming June 2024 Pride Month, when gatherings are expected to increase.

FTOs may exploit these gatherings to commit or inspire violence, particularly against Pride celebrations or LGBTQIA+-related venues. This concern is heightened by the current elevated threat environment in the United States and other Western countries. FTOs have a history of promoting anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric and targeting related events or venues for attacks.

In a specific example cited, English-language ISIS messaging in February 2023 featured an article focused on anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric and encouraged attacks on unspecified soft targets. The Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando on June 12, 2016, which resulted in 49 deaths and 53 injuries, was praised by pro-ISIS messaging as a high-profile attack in Western countries.

Further, in June 2023, three individuals allegedly sympathetic to ISIS were arrested for plotting to attack a Pride parade in Vienna, Austria, using knives and a vehicle.

The announcement also highlights indicators of potential threat activity, including violent threats online or in person, surveillance of events or venues attempts to gain access to restricted areas, and inquiries about security measures.

Authorities urge the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to law enforcement.

in NEWS
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