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FBI Warns Terrorists May Target Pride Month Events

Large gatherings of LGBTQ individuals could make them easy targets for extremists, authorities warn

FBI Warns Terrorists May Target Pride Month Events

Over the past year, numerous public officials have raised alarms about the potential for terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.

These warnings — from New York City’s Mayor Eric Adams, congressional representatives, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials, and FBI Director Christopher Wray — stem from growing concern over a porous U.S. southern border that has facilitated a record number of illegal border crossings over the past three years.

Now, America’s top law enforcement agency has issued a bulletin with specific warnings for the LGBTQ community.

“Foreign terrorist organizations or supporters may seek to exploit increased gatherings associated with the upcoming June 2024 Pride Month,” the agency said in a joint public service announcement with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Federal authorities warn that terrorist networks have historically promoted anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and targeted LGBTQ-related events and venues for attacks.

In February 2023, ISIS disseminated messages featuring anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and called for followers to carry out attacks on unspecified soft targets, according to the FBI.

The bulletin also referenced an incident later that year when three alleged ISIS sympathizers were arrested for attempting to attack a Pride parade in Austria.

“The investigations by the State Protection and Intelligence Directorate found that multiple people were planning an attack on the parade,” a statement released by Austria’s Interior Ministry said. “The suspects were subsequently tracked down and taken into custody in a coordinated attack.”

FBI officials also noted that June 12 will mark the eighth anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, where a gunman killed 49 individuals and wounded 53 others.

After the shooting, “pro-ISIS messaging praised this attack as one of the high-profile attacks in Western countries, and FTO supporters celebrated it,” the FBI says.

Despite these threats, members of the LGBTQ community remain resolute.

"I think it's always going to be scary for us as queer folks, you know, just in New York City and around the world," Pride performer Mike Baerga told a New York NBC News affiliate. "No threat is going to hold us back from really enjoying ourselves and celebrating."

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