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North Shore towns aren't often the target of foreign influence operations, but last weekend Grand Marais may have been in the crosshairs.

A Pride Month celebration in the town of 1,400 people last weekend was interrupted by a bomb threat that authorities say came from Russia – part of a recent trend of foreign terrorists and their supporters targeting American LGBTQ events.

Cook County Sheriff Pat Eliasen said the threat was directed at attendees of the June 15 Pride event, but an investigation yielded no active threat. It did not appear to cause major disruptions to the celebration – which included dancing, crafts, yoga and a rally.

But it appears other Pride events around the U.S. – in Alaska, Massachusetts, Montana and Texas, have also been targeted by threats, according to media reports. In an email to the Star Tribune, Eliasen said the FBI's Minneapolis field office traced the source of the Grand Marais threat to a Russian email address that "recently generated multiple similar threats across the United States."

In May, the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a public service announcement warning that "foreign terrorist organizations or supporters may seek to exploit increased gatherings associated with the upcoming June 2024 Pride Month."

Violent threats made online, in person or by mail were listed as a possible tactic in the announcement.

"We ask members of the public to immediately report anything they consider suspicious to law enforcement or contact their local FBI Office," said Diana Freedman, a spokeswoman for the FBI's Minneapolis field office.

Casey Michel, a journalist with a focus on foreign interference and influence campaigns, said the tactic fits into a broader history of Russia and the former Soviet Union exploiting cultural issues to inflame tensions in the U.S., stretching back to the Cold War.

"Unfortunately, this seems like a low-cost effort to disrupt any municipality, small town, big city, whatever it is," he said. "It's a relatively easy lift. It's just a single phone call and you're interrupting an entire parade, an entire day."

The Star Tribune was unable to reach representatives of Cook County Pride, which organizes the annual Pride event in Grand Marais and conducts educational outreach, social events and advocacy for the queer community throughout the year.

Videos posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, by local media and attendees appeared to show a daylong event that otherwise went on as scheduled.