Federal authorities have warned that LGBTQ events and venues may be targets for foreign terrorist organizations during Pride Month, emphasizing the need for heightened vigilance without specifying any immediate threats.

    WASHINGTON, DC (4-minute read) — Federal authorities, including the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, have issued a public service alert about the potential for foreign terrorist organizations to target LGBTQ events and venues during Pride Month. While there is no specific intelligence indicating imminent threats, the advisory underscores a general escalation in threat levels within the U.S. and other Western nations, particularly during festive periods.

    The announcement highlighted the dual dangers posed by such foreign groups, which have historically disseminated anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and encouraged attacks on LGBTQ-related gatherings. This alert coincides with broader concerns about threats to holiday celebrations and is informed by the tactics and behaviors observed in past incidents, such as the tragic 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando.

    Authorities are particularly concerned about the use of online platforms for spreading hostility and organizing attacks against soft targets, which typically include places like nightclubs and restaurants that have minimal security. The alert references an increase in messaging from ISIS in February 2023 that included anti-LGBTQ content and encouraged attacks on such venues, though not specifically LGBTQ-focused ones.

    The advisory also recalls the attack on a Pride parade in Vienna by alleged ISIS sympathizers in June 2023, using knives and a vehicle, highlighting the ongoing risks at similar events worldwide. In response to these threats, U.S. agencies are intensifying their monitoring efforts and strengthening collaboration with local, state, and federal law enforcement to safeguard public safety.

    Officials stress the importance of community vigilance and encourage reporting suspicious activities through established channels like the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative. They also remind the public to be aware of signs that may suggest preparatory acts of terrorism, such as unusual interest in security procedures or attempts to impersonate law enforcement personnel.

    Safety Tip: Always be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded events. Report any suspicious behavior or unattended items to local authorities immediately.

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