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US State Department issues worldwide travel warning ahead of Pride month

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The US State Department issued a “Worldwide Caution” alert on Friday warning US citizens overseas to exercise increased caution amid fears of potential terrorist-inspired violence against LGBTQI+ persons and events. The alert is given two weeks before the start of Pride month in June, known for parades and events that celebrate LGBTQI+ communities.

The State Department advised citizens traveling abroad to be cautious and vigilant in tourist spots, especially if they attend Pride celebrations and places that are usually visited by the LGBTQI+ community.

Additionally, citizens traveling abroad were urged to enroll in the Smart Travel Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive information and alerts from US Embassies about safety conditions in destination countries. This program helps embassies to contact US citizens in cases of emergency, including natural disasters or civil rest, and connect them to their families and friends.

The alert coincided with the commemoration of the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. Blinken wrote on X that the US is committed to promoting the safety and dignity of LGBTQ+ persons as a component of advancing national interests.

Earlier this month, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security issued a similar statement warning of the potential targeting and exploitation of LGBTQIA+ large gatherings by foreign terrorist organizations. The statement brought to attention past attempts targeting the LGBTQIA+ community, including the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando which left 49 killed or repeated published messages from ISIS to its followers to conduct attacks on the LGBTQI+ venues and events.

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