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Pride Month activities are potential targets of terror, FBI warns

Feds: Foreign terrorist organizations may try to target the LGBTQ+ community.
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Posted at 8:13 AM, May 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-15 09:13:47-04

Government agencies are warning the public to be cautious, as June Pride Month activities are potential targets for foreign terrorist organizations. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security issued the warning in recent days.

The government agencies said foreign terrorist organizations may try to target the LGBTQ+ community in June "to exploit increased gatherings associated with the upcoming June 2024 Pride Month." The government memo notes previous instances of when terror organizations have targeted the LGBTQ+ community.

One such instance was the Pulse Nightclub Orlando shooting in June 2016 that left 49 people dead and 53 people wounded. The alleged gunman reportedly praised ISIS during the attack.

"After the Pulse shooting, pro-ISIS messaging praised this attack as one of the high-profile attacks in Western countries, and FTO supporters celebrated it," the memo read.

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The memo also noted that three alleged ISIS sympathizers were arrested in June 2023 for attempting to attack a Pride parade in Vienna, Austria.

Threats are nothing new for the LGBTQ+ community. From June 2022 through May 2023, according to GLAAD, more than 160 LGBTQ+ community events were targeted with violence and threats.

Officials said indicators of threat activities include unusual or prolonged testing or probing of security measures; photography of security-related equipment, personnel, or access points; unusual surveillance or interest in buildings, gatherings, or events; attempts to gain access to restricted areas, bypass security, or impersonate law enforcement officials; and observation of or questions about facility security measures, including barriers, restricted areas, cameras, and intrusion detection systems without a reasonable alternative explanation.

Officials are asking the public to report suspicious activity to Homeland Security.