NYPD Reponds to Thanksgiving Parade Threat
The New York Police Department will be boosting security efforts on Thanksgiving morning this year after a recent edition of a magazine published by the Islamic State called Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade an “excellent target.”
The magazine, Rumiyah, was published on Nov. 11 and focused vehicular attacks and specifically highlighted the parade, which runs over 2 miles through Manhattan. The article encouraged readers to plot attacks in the same way Mohamad Lahouaiej-Bouhel, an ISIS-inspired attacker, drove through a crowd on Bastille Day in Nice, France.
The NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence, John Miller, said that the department is keeping an eye on businesses that rent or sell large trucks that could be capable of mass causalities. They are reaching out to the businesses to offer guidance on how to identify and report potential truck renters who could be interested in doing harm.
In addition, the NYPD will deploy about the same amount of police officers that it did last year, roughly 1,300, many of whom are plain clothes, positioned among spectators.
Miller also said the route will have police vehicles stationed in large groups, called blocker cars, that separate the floats, balloons, bands and other elements of the parade from spectators. This process also helps to shield the elements of the parade from harm’s way.
They treat the parade in a similar manner that they would the Presidential motorcade.
Police will also have many explosive detection and radiation devices deployed, among many other assets.
Miller says the bottom line is: “Go to the parade. Take your family, I always take mine."