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US State Department issues worldwide security alert due to potential for attacks on LGBTQI+ people and events

By Kylie Atwood, CNN

(CNN) — The US State Department issued a worldwide security alert on Friday due to the potential for terrorist attacks against LGBTQI+ people 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 alert comes two weeks before Pride Month begins on June 1. The department warned US citizens to stay alert in locations that tourists often visit “including Pride celebrations and venues frequented by LGBTQI+ persons.”

Earlier this week, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security similarly issued a warning that foreign terrorist organizations and their supporters may target LGBTQ+ events and venues as Pride Month approaches.

Last year, police in Austria successfully foiled a plot to attack Vienna’s annual Pride Parade, arresting three suspects – aged 14, 17 and 20 – linked to Islamic extremism. That same year, the Human Rights Campaign, for the first time in its 40-year history advocating for the LGBTQ+ community, declared a national state of emergency for LGBTQ+ Americans.

And the year before, two dozen men believed to be linked to a White nationalist group were arrested, thwarting their plans to riot at an Idaho pride celebration.

CNN’s Avery Lotz contributed to this report.

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