The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a terrorism advisory bulletin that warns of possible threats to the LGBTQ+ community and other vulnerable groups.
The bulletin, which was released on Wednesday, notes that the U.S. “remains in a heightened threat environment” due to the possibility of lone wolf, grievance- and ideologically-driven attacks.
“Threat actors have recently mobilized to violence, citing factors such as reactions to current events and adherence to violent extremist ideologies,” the bulletin notes.
Among the possible targets for violence are those in the LGBTQ+ community, racial and religious minorities, members of the media, and “perceived ideological opponents.”
The warning comes just over a week after a shooter opened fire at Club Q, a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, killing five people. While the investigation into the shooting is ongoing, preliminary charges against the suspect, Anderson Lee Aldrich, include counts of first-degree murder and bias-motivated crimes.
“We have observed actors on forums known to post racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist content praising the alleged attacker,” the DHS bulletin notes of the Colorado Springs attack. This praise was similar to that observed following an attack on an LGBTQ+ bar in Slovakia in October.
The bulletin also notes “enduring threats” to religious communities, specifically the Jewish community, and towards racial minorities as a result of white supremacist beliefs. It also cautions against possible violence following the November midterm elections while also noting that such violence “was isolated.”
Meanwhile, the owner of Club Q has shared in an interview with NPR that he plans to reopen the venue.
“We’re currently working on another space we have, another venue,” he told the news outlet. “We’re hoping we can get some funds and people to help get this other space open so we can get our employees back to work and give people a space to go again.”