US issues alert on violence targeting LGBTQI+ individuals and events

The U.S. Department of State has issued a worldwide caution for U.S. citizens, warning of the potential for violence targeting LGBTQI+ individuals and events. 

"Due to the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations, or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests, the Department of State advises U.S. citizens overseas to exercise increased caution.  The Department of State is aware of the increased potential for foreign terrorist organization-inspired violence against LGBTQI+ persons and events and advises U.S. citizens overseas to exercise increased caution," the alert read.

The advisory comes just weeks before Pride Month, which begins on June 1. It urges U.S. citizens to steer clear of locations without a visible security presence and to refrain from publicizing their sexual orientation or gender identity in environments where such disclosures might incite hostility.

The State Department also advises travelers to register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive updated security information and make emergency contact easier.

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security have also issued a joint public warning, cautioning that foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs) might target events during LGBTQ Pride Month.


People wave Rainbow Flags as they parade during the Milan Pride 2019 on June 29, 2019 in Milan, as part of the LGBT Pride month marking the 50th anniversary of the New York Stonewall Riots.

"Foreign terrorist organizations or supporters may seek to exploit increased gatherings associated with the upcoming June 2024 Pride Month," the announcement reads. "FTO efforts to commit or inspire violence against holiday celebrations, including Pride celebrations or LGBTQIA+-related venues, are compounded by the current heightened threat environment in the United States and other western countries."

Officials cited "ISIS messaging" focused on anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and the arrests of three alleged ISIS sympathizers in an attempted knife attack at a Pride parade in Vienna, Austria, last year as reasons for concern.

They also referenced the upcoming eighth anniversary of the 2016 Pulse nightclub mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, which left 49 people dead and 53 wounded.

Officials did not name any foreign terrorist organization other than ISIS and did not specify a particular city or Pride event of heightened concern.

Pride groups and local law enforcement agencies in some of the nation’s largest cities sought to reassure attendees that they are taking measures to ensure safety at events.