State Department issues ‘LGBTQI+’ travel warning: ‘Guess gays can’t go to Palestine’

The Biden State Department has warned those intent on attending upcoming international Pride events to be extra wary of terrorist activity.

“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 warning reads.

“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 warning continues.

Pressed by The Hill, a department spokesperson declined to specify whether any specific event or threat had inspired the warning.

“The U.S. Department of State has no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas,” the spokesperson said. “We take seriously our commitment to provide U.S. citizens with clear, timely, and reliable information about every country in the world so they can make informed travel decisions.”

The warning from State follows a similar joint warning from the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI issued earlier this month.

“FTO [foreign terrorist organization] 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,” the warning reads.

“FTOs and their supporters have previously promoted anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric and targeted LGBTQIA+ related events or venues for attacks,” it continues.

This warning, to its credit, cites specific examples.

It notes, for example, that in February of 2023, an English-language news site run by ISIS “focused on anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric and rallied against the growth and promotion of the LGBTQIA+ community.”

“The same issue called for followers to conduct attacks on unidentified soft targets, although the attacks and targets were not specific to LGBTQIA+ venues,” the warning notes.

The warning also points to what happened in June of 2023, when “three alleged ISIS sympathizers were arrested for attempting to attack a Pride parade in Vienna, Austria, using knives and a vehicle as part of the attack.”

The warning goes on to include a huge list of “Possible Indicators of Potential Threat Activity,” including the following:

  • “Violent threats made online, in person, or via mail.”
  • “Unusual or prolonged testing or probing of security measures at events or venues.”
  • “Photography of security related equipment, personnel, or access points consistent with pre-operational surveillance without a reasonable alternative explanation.”
  • “Unusual surveillance or interest in buildings, gatherings, or events.
  • Attempts to gain access to restricted areas, bypass security, or impersonate law enforcement officials.”
  • “Observation of or questions about facility security measures, including barriers, restricted areas, cameras, and intrusion detection systems without a reasonable alternative explanation.”
  • “Eliciting information from facility personnel regarding the nature of upcoming events, crowd sizes, busiest times of day, etc. without a reasonable alternative explanation.”
  • “Attempts to enter a restricted area, bypass security, or impersonate law enforcement officials.”

 

These warnings come weeks out from the beginning of Pride Month, which starts on June 1st.

“According to a report by the Anti-Defamation League and Glaad, a group formerly known as the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, there were at least 145 incidents of anti-LGBTQ violence, harassment and vandalism during Pride Month in 2023,” according to the BBC.

Responding to these warnings, many critics took aim at the radicalized left for embracing Palestinians and Hamas — groups that effectively hate the LGBT movement — amid the war between Israel and Hamas.

Look:

Vivek Saxena

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