Foreign terrorist groups may target Pride events in 2024, warns FBI and DHS

Cities nationwide are gearing up for the start of Pride events.

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security have issued a warning that foreign terrorist organizations and their supporters may target LGBTQ+ venues and gatherings this year.

In the past, there have been instances where these events were threatened, and it is not the first time. Last summer, authorities in Austria apprehended three individuals who were believed to be sympathizers of ISIS. They were arrested for plotting an attack during a Pride parade.

Kenya Hutton, Deputy Director at the Center for Black Equity, expressed the constant fear and danger that the Black LGBTQ community faces on a daily basis.

Kenya Hutton plays a crucial role as an organizer for DC Black Pride, which stands as the biggest commemoration for the Black LGBTQ+ community in the United States.

According to him, it is not unusual for them to receive hateful messages in the lead-up to the event. However, he has observed a change this year.

According to Hutton, “This year in particular, I have noticed an increase in physical threats. There are people who are openly advocating for the use of firearms to disrupt pride events.” Hutton expressed concern about the alarming comments being made.

According to federal authorities, there is an increased risk of violence, particularly in relation to the upcoming eighth anniversary of the tragic Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. This horrific incident resulted in the loss of 49 lives and left 53 people injured.

According to officials, the tragedy has received praise from supporters of foreign terrorist groups.

“We carry the memories and the weight of our past, always mindful that history could repeat itself,” he expressed.

According to Hutton, DC Black Pride collaborates with local and federal law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of the attendees. Additionally, security briefings are conducted with volunteers and staff members to further enhance security measures.

Despite these threats, organizers are urging everyone to continue attending the event.

Hutton emphasized the importance of celebrating our human right. According to him, as resilient individuals, we have consistently overcome obstacles and fought for our place in society. That is our nature.

According to federal authorities, certain behaviors may indicate potential threats, such as individuals attempting to access restricted areas or bypass security measures.

If you come across a threat, the FBI advises you to report it. You can do so by contacting your local FBI field office or the nearest international office. Alternatively, you can call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324).

Brandon Wolf, the National Press Secretary for HRC, shared his thoughts on the FBI and DHS joint threat assessment.

Pride is a powerful expression of the desire for a world where everyone can freely embrace their true selves without the constant fear of hatred and violence. I have personally witnessed the devastating consequences of this hate and violence, but I have also witnessed the incredible strength of the LGBTQ+ community and its allies in overcoming these challenges. As we approach the 8th anniversary of the Pulse tragedy, it serves as a poignant reminder for us to remain vigilant. However, the most effective response to the threat of hate is to live our lives boldly and unapologetically, to proudly celebrate Pride, to love without reservation, and to proudly raise our flags higher than ever before.

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MBS Staff
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