State Department Issues Dire Warning to Americans Abroad

( – June is Pride Month in the US. Celebrations will take place across the country to celebrate LGBTQ+ Americans. Federal law enforcement officials recently issued a warning about the events.

On May 17, the US State Department issued a security alert for the LGBTQ+ community, warning them of potential demonstrations, violent actions, or terrorist attacks abroad. The Worldwide Caution alert warned Americans to “exercise increased caution” because officials had become aware of an “increased potential for foreign terrorist organization-inspired violence” against LGBTQ+ people.

The State Department advised Americans to take the following steps if they are traveling overseas:

  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive alerts and information. It also makes it easier for the State Department to locate US citizens while they are overseas.
  • Stay alert at places where tourists frequently visit, especially venues for LGBTQ+ people and Pride celebrations.
  • Follow the State Department on X, formerly Twitter, and Facebook.

The State Department alert came days after a similar warning from Homeland Security and the FBI. On May 10, the agencies issued a warning about foreign terrorists and their supporters possibly targeting venues and events for the LGBTQ+ community. The Associated Press reported the warning which said the terrorists “may seek to exploit increased gatherings associated with” Pride Month.

June 12 is the eighth anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub attack in Orlando, Florida. At the time, it was the deadliest mass shooting in American history and remains the worst attack on the LGBTQ+ community. Gunman Omar Mateen opened fire inside the club and killed 49 people. During a three-hour standoff, the killer pledged his support for the Islamic State. Law enforcement killed him when they were finally able to make entry into the building. The FBI is concerned about a similar event taking place.

The warning cautioned people to watch out for signs of an attack as well, like threats online. They said potential attackers could impersonate law enforcement, try to get into restricted areas, take photos of security equipment at events, or even be friendly to event staffers to try to get information that would help them carry out an attack, like trying to find out how large a crowd might be.

Anyone who notices suspicious activity should report it to law enforcement.

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