The New York Police Department said Monday it will reinforce security measures after the Islamic State group threatened to attack the 90th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill confirmed police had reviewed the threat that appeared in Rumiyah, a magazine distributed by the militant group also known as ISIS.
O'Neill said no specific plot was uncovered, but threats made by terrorist organizations were treated as credible. "We live in a world where you have terrorist organizations like ISIL and Al Qaeda that pose credible threats. We live in a city that has been a repeated target of terrorist attacks and attempts," O'Neill said, using an alternative name for ISIS, during a press conference.
He went on to say that police would utilize a "complex counterterrorism overlay" that included a wide array of tactics for an "all-threat approach." He listed radiological equipment, surveillance and specially trained canine units as part of the department's strategy this year. He also said police took extra precaution against the possibility of vehicle attacks, such as the Bastille Day attack in Nice, France, that killed 86 people in July.
The ISIS article entitled "Just Terror Tactics" was published Saturday. It included a picture of a large Hertz rental truck next to an overlay of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The document detailed the ideal vehicle for inflicting mass casualties in a terror attack on large crowds.
"It is essential for the one seeking this method of operation to understand that it is not conditional to target gatherings restricted to government or military personnel only. All so-called 'civilian' (and low-security) parades and gatherings are fair game and more devastating to Crusader nations," the article read.
Police were prepared to install hundreds of parked cars as a buffer zone between the two-and-a-half-mile parade route and public streets. The department also investigated and visited over 130 locations that rent trucks without a commercial license. While O'Neill emphasized the gravity of the situation, he reassured reporters that the event was safe to attend.
"I think the overarching message is come to the Thanksgiving Day Parade, have a good time, bring the family. I always go, always bring mine," he said.
The annual event was the subject of security concerns last year as well after ISIS threatened to attack Times Square. The event, which took place without incident, came less than two weeks after the militant organization killed 130 in a series of bombings and shootings in Paris.