Police are taking measures to prevent a terror attack during Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, the annual march that takes place along a 2.5-mile stretch of Manhattan.
According to New York City’s ABC7, the New York Police Department has blocked vehicular traffic throughout the march’s entire route for the first time in its 90-year history. Police have also placed more than 80 sand trucks along the path to serve as obstructions and deployed more than 3,000 heavily armed officers. About 3.5 million people are expected to attend this year’s parade on Nov. 24.
The security measures come after ISIL published an article in its propaganda magazine Ramiyah that encouraged its followers to replicate the lone-wolf attack in Nice, France. In July, an ISIL supporter ran a truck through crowds celebrating Bastille Day, killing more than 80 civilians. The article included a photo of Macy’s parade celebration with a caption that reportedly called the event an “excellent target.”
On the talk show CBS This Morning, John Miller, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism, said the department always considers security during the annual parade.
“This isn’t something we thought of last weekend,” he told the program. “For the last several years we have had blocker cars on every intersection of that route, very much as we do when the president of the United States comes through town.” NYPD commissioner James O’Neill also told MSNBC there remains no “specific, credible threat” of an attack, but police are aware of “rhetoric.”