LIFESTYLE

US security alert warns Americans overseas of potential attacks on LGBTQ events

May 17, 2024, 2:56 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department renewed a global security warning Friday for Americans overseas, adding to it that LGBTQ people and events in particular face an “increased potential for foreign terrorist organization-inspired violence.”

The alert is a standard renewal of travel advice telling Americans to exercise increased caution against possible attacks by violent extremist groups while they are overseas. However, the last alert — issued in October — didn’t mention the increased threats to the LGBTQ community.

The global notice came three days after the FBI and Department of Homeland Security issued a similar public warning that armed foreign extremist groups or their followers may target events and venues linked to June’s Pride month.

U.S. officials released no details of the threats that are prompting the warnings. But some countries recently have passed anti-LGBTQ laws, including one the Iraqi parliament approved late last month that would impose heavy prison sentences on gay and transgender people.

A Uganda court upheld a law last month that allows the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” and up to 14 years in prison for a suspect convicted of “attempted aggravated homosexuality.”

Both have drawn harsh criticism from the U.S. and others around the world.

The State Department says U.S. citizens abroad should stay alert in places frequented by tourists, including at Pride events, and pay attention to the agency’s updates on social media.

Pride month, held in June in the U.S. and some parts of the world, is meant to celebrate LGBTQ+ communities and protest against attacks on their gains.

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US security alert warns Americans overseas of potential attacks on LGBTQ events