White House warns of anti-LGBTQ+ attacks during Pride month

Washington DC - The US on Friday warned of the risk of attacks against LGBTQ+ people ahead of Pride month in June, urging Americans to exercise caution overseas.

The US on Friday warned of the risk of attacks against LGBTQ+ people ahead of Pride month in June, urging Americans to exercise caution overseas.
The US on Friday warned of the risk of attacks against LGBTQ+ people ahead of Pride month in June, urging Americans to exercise caution overseas.  © IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

The State Department said in a statement it was "aware of the increased potential for foreign terrorist organization-inspired violence against LGBTQI+ persons and events and advises US citizens overseas to exercise increased caution."

The warning, which did offer specific threat information, came after a similar warning from the FBI.

In a May 10 notice, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security pointed to recent anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric in social media postings of the Islamic State group, which called for "followers to conduct attacks on unidentified soft targets."

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It also pointed to the arrest in Vienna last year of three alleged Islamic State sympathizers accused of plotting to attack a Pride march with knives and a vehicle.

During Pride month in 2016, the US experienced one of the deadliest mass shootings in its history at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, in which a gunman killed 49 people.

The perpetrator, Omar Mateen, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in a 911 emergency call during the attack. He was killed in a shootout when police stormed the building.

Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

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