The French government has revealed that the authorities successfully blocked a series of terror attacks against gay nightclubs in Paris.
Gérard Collomb, the Minister of the Interior, announced in the National Assembly on Tuesday that the attacks were planned to take place on 22 August.
He said that, “this project of violent action” targeted “Paris nightclubs, in particular gay establishments,” reported BFM TV.
Collomb claimed that a total of twelve bomb attacks had been thwarted in France in the last year.
“What Daesh (Isis) wants: to divide the community and ensure there are clashes between the French,” he said. “This is the trap in which we must not fall.”
“The threat, everyone is aware of it today, will persist for a long time,” Collomb continued. “Daesh’s propaganda continues to influence a number of minds in our territory.”
Fabrice Houdart, a Parisian who works for the UN in New York, told the Washington Blade: “This could have been the ‘French Orlando’ and is a reminder that the struggle for equality and dignity of LGBTI people is by no means over in France.”
On 13 November 2015, Paris suffered a series of extremist Islamic terror attacks at a football match and in cafés, restaurants and a concert venue that killed 130 people. In April, gay policeman Xavier Jugelé was killed when Karim Cheurfi opened fire on a police van on the Champs Élysées.
None of these incidents were specifically targeting LGBTI people, but Isis has been associated with the June 2016 Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, Florida, in the US. While it still remains unclear as to what gunman Omar Mateen’s exact motives were, he pledged allegiance to Isis during the killings.
Isis is a proponent of a radical interpretation of sharia religious law which allows for the execution of people for “morality” crimes, including adultery and homosexuality.
Since 2014, it has carried out dozens of public murders of gay men and those accused of being gay in areas in which it has control. Most victims have been beheaded, thrown off the top of buildings or stoned to death.