WASHINGTON, D.C. — Pride events are about to kick off in cities nationwide.


But this year, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security warn foreign terrorist organizations and their supporters may target these LGBTQ+ venues and gatherings.

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And it’s not the first time, they’ve threatened these events in the past. Officials say three alleged ISIS sympathizers were arrested in Austria last summer for attempting an attack during a Pride parade.

“As a community especially as the Black LGBTQ community, we are constantly walking around with the free of threat and danger,” said Kenya Hutton, Deputy Director at the Center for Black Equity.

Kenya Hutton is one of the organizers of DC Black Pride, the nation’s largest celebration for the Black LGBTQ+ community.

He said it’s not uncommon for them to receive hate mail leading up to the event but this year, he’s noticing a shift.

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“This year in particular I’ve noticed some actual physical threats, people saying, you know, we need to take up arms and disrupt these pride events. These are comments that have been coming,” said Hutton.

Federal authorities say there’s a heightened risk of violence. They also specifically point to the upcoming eighth anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando where a shooter killed 49 and wounded 53 people. Officials say supporters of foreign terrorist groups praised the tragedy.

“We remember and we never forget but now we have to walk around with concern that it might happen again,” he said.

Hutton said DC Black Pride works with local and federal police agencies to keep crowds safe. He said there are also security briefings with volunteers and staff.

And despite these threats, he said organizers are encouraging everyone to keep showing up.

“It’s our human right to be celebrated,” said Hutton. “We are resilient, we have always overcome and pushed back to create space, right, that’s what we do.”

RELATED: Target to reduce number of stores carrying Pride-themed merchandise after last year’s backlash

Federal authorities say certain behaviors could be signs of potential threats including people trying to get into restricted areas or get around security.

The FBI says to report a threat, contact your local FBI field office or closest international office or call 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324).

HRC National Press Secretary Brandon Wolf on the joint FBI and DHS threat assessment:

“At its core, Pride is a defiant demand for a world where everyone is free to be themselves without fear of hate and violence. I’ve seen the cost of that hate and violence up close — but I’ve also seen the power of LGBTQ+ people and our allies to rise above it. This alert, on the eve of 8 years since Pulse, is a good reminder to stay vigilant. But the greatest antidotes to the threat of hate are living out loud, celebrating Pride defiantly, loving without apology, and waving our flags higher than ever before.”

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