DC Police Prepare for Terrorism During Pride Month in June

May 31, 2024 by Tom Ramstack
DC Police Prepare for Terrorism During Pride Month in June
The Rev. David Meredith, left, and the Rev. Austin Adkinson sing during a gathering of those in the LGBTQ community and their allies outside the Charlotte Convention Center, in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, May 2, 2024. (AP Photo/Peter Smith, File)

WASHINGTON — District of Columbia police are preparing for a potential terrorist attack in June during Pride Month after an FBI warning last week.

“Foreign terrorist organizations or supporters may seek to exploit increased gatherings associated with the upcoming June 2024 Pride Month,” a joint FBI and Homeland Security Department announcement said.

The agencies did not specify which locations presented the greatest risk, only that terrorist groups continue to threaten LGBTQ+ events.

Washington, D.C., is planning for one of the nation’s biggest Pride events on June 10 and June 11. More than 400,000 attendees and visitors are expected.

The Metropolitan Police Department “and our local and federal law enforcement partners monitor and assess intelligence and plan for large gatherings accordingly to ensure safety for all District of Columbia residents and visitors,” a D.C. police spokesman told The Well News.

The 1.5-mile Capital Pride Parade on June 10 will be accompanied by a day-long Capital Pride Block Party. Both of them are what the FBI calls “soft targets,” meaning they are easily accessible by the public and by terrorists.

Other Gay Pride events are scheduled nationwide. Some of the biggest are planned for San Francisco and New York.

Police in other cities also are moving to heightened alerts.

The FBI announcement noted that June 12 is the eighth anniversary of the attack on the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. It killed 49 people and injured 53 in the nation’s deadliest attack against the LGBTQ+ community.

The gunman, Omar Mateen, was killed by a police SWAT team. He had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

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