FBI Warns of Heightened Threat to LGBTQ+ Pride Events from Foreign Terrorists

The FBI and DHS warn of a heightened threat environment from foreign terrorist organizations targeting LGBTQ+ pride events in the US, particularly in New York City, ahead of Pride Month in June 2024. Authorities advise the public to be vigilant and report suspicious activity, while event organizers remain committed to ensuring a safe and enjoyable Pride celebration.

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Nitish Verma
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FBI Warns of Heightened Threat to LGBTQ+ Pride Events from Foreign Terrorists

FBI Warns of Heightened Threat to LGBTQ+ Pride Events from Foreign Terrorists

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have issued a warning of a heightened threat environment from foreign terrorist organizations, could, target LGBTQ+ pride events in the United States, particularly in New York City, ahead of Pride Month in June 2024. The warning was issued on May 13, 2024, approximately three weeks before the start of Pride Month.

Why this matters: This warning highlights the ongoing threat of terrorism against marginalized communities and the need for increased vigilance and security measures to ensure public safety. It also underscores the importance of addressing the root causes of extremism and promoting inclusivity and diversity to prevent further radicalization.

The FBI and DHS are advising the public to be vigilant and watch for indicators of potential threats, including violent threats made online or in person, someone taking photographs of security equipment or personnel, requests for information on events and crowd sizes without explanation, and attempts to bypass security or impersonate law enforcement. The warning comes as the eighth anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando approaches, where 49 people lost their lives in 2016. ISIS praised that attack.

NYC Pride, one of the largest Pride events in the world, is preparing to draw around 50,000 marchers and two million attendees to New York City in June. Sandra Perez, Executive Director of NYC Pride, stated, "Disappointing, disconcerting, and sadly not new. We get threats annually. We get threats throughout the year." Despite the threats, there are no plans to cancel or alter any Pride events next month.

Openly gay New York City councilman Erik Bottcher responded to the warning, saying, "It's incredibly disheartening and troubling. We should take the warning from the FBI and DHS seriously and follow the advice that they issued, which is to be vigilant, to keep an eye out that may seem off." Former FBI investigator and international security expert Bill Daly noted that the warning comes at a time of concerns about porous U.S. borders allowing outside influencers like ISIS to attempt to inspire attacks on the homeland.

Despite the heightened threat, Pride event organizers and community leaders are encouraging people to still come out and celebrate. "This is a time not only for the LGBTQ community to come out and show their pride, but I think it's really, really important for allies to show up as well," said Perez. Authorities are advising attendees to be aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious activity. To report a threat, the public can contact the FBI office in New York City.

The FBI warning serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing threats faced by the LGBTQ+ community, even as Pride Month aims to celebrate diversity and inclusion. While authorities and event organizers are taking the threat seriously, they remain committed to ensuring a safe and enjoyable Pride celebration in New York City and across the country. The resilience and unity of the LGBTQ+ community will be on full display as Pride Month kicks off in June.

Key Takeaways

  • FBI & DHS warn of heightened threat to LGBTQ+ Pride events in June 2024, particularly in NYC.
  • Threats may come from foreign terrorist organizations, including ISIS.
  • Public advised to be vigilant, report suspicious activity, and watch for indicators of potential threats.
  • NYC Pride will proceed as planned, with increased security measures in place.
  • Authorities and event organizers urge attendees to remain aware of surroundings and report any threats.