ISIS Threatens NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade
US authorities are concerned that terrorists may try to attack large public gatherings this holiday season, starting with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Manhattan on Thursday, law enforcement officials said recently.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warned Tuesday in its biannual National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin that the agency is “especially concerned that terrorist-inspired individuals and homegrown violent extremists may be encouraged or inspired to target public events or places,” although it noted that it knew of “no intelligence that is both specific and credible at this time of a specific plot.” But the latest issue of the ISIS propaganda magazine dubbed the 90th annual Thanksgiving parade in New York City, which draws a crowd of more than 3 million, an “excellent target,” prompting increased security measures along the 2.5-mile route.
"The holiday season, in particular, provides additional opportunities for violent extremists to target public events and places where people congregate," DHS wrote in its bulletin.
Terrorists had also published vague threats last year to attack the parade as well as strike between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, although the 2015 holiday season passed incident free.
Still, DHS and the NYPD aren’t taking any chances this year. In anticipation of a terrorist trying to drive a truck into the crowd—mimicking the attack in Nice, France earlier on Bastille Day that killed 86—authorities are increasing their presence around the parade and other public events. Officials urged the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity, but not allow fear to alter their plans.
“Go to the parade,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence John Miller told reporters Monday during a news conference about the threats. “Take your family. I always take mine.”