FBI issues terrorism warning ahead of US LGBTQ+ Pride events

FBI agents keep watch during the 2016 Gay Pride Parade in West Hollywood, California on June 12, 2016.

LGBTQ+ Pride events in the US could be targeted by foreign terror groups this year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has warned.

On 10 May, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security released a public alert warning that foreign terrorists organisations and their supporters could seek to “exploit increased gatherings associated with the upcoming June 2024 Pride Month”.

The alert highlights previous attacks by foreign terror groups and their supporters in targeting LGBTQ+ events and venues. 

It makes reference 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 notes that 12 June will 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.

Pulse nightclub shooting
Pulse nightclub is set to be turned into a memorial site for the 49 victims of the 2016 massacre. (Twitter)

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

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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.