Crime

Threats to Tacoma LGBT sites not credible, FBI says

A threat against gay bars in Seattle and Tacoma has been deemed not credible, and there is no increased risk to the community, the FBI announced Wednesday.

The FBI said it interviewed a Spokane resident who posted threatening language online regarding LGBT-focused bars in Seattle and Tacoma. Investigators did not find “reason to suggest a pending physical threat,” the FBI said.

Tacoma’s Rainbow Center and the Oasis Youth Center posted on their Facebook pages Tuesday night that Tacoma police were “asking the LGBTQA community to exercise caution, at this time, when out in public,” and that there would be increased police presence at places where the community gathers.

On Wednesday morning, the organizations posted updates reporting that police said “specific threats had been resolved.”

The threats came just days after the fatal shooting of 49 people at a gay bar in Orlando, Florida, the largest mass shooting in American history and one that was targeted toward the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

“With what’s occurring across the nation and the amount of info being received by the law enforcement community, we’re doing everything to quickly address each issue and keep the communities safe,” Tacoma police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said.

Since the shooting in Orlando, the FBI has investigated three threats in Washington, according to a news release: the threats from the Spokane resident, a telephoned threat to the Muslim Association of Puget Sound in Redmond and an online threat to a north Seattle mosque that led to a standoff Tuesday before a man was arrested. None of the threats was deemed credible.

The FBI says it is communicating with LGBT and Muslim community groups, as well as local law enforcement, regarding the threats.

Staff writer Stacia Glenn contributed to this report.

Kenny Ocker: 253-597-8627, @KennyOcker

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