As CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reported, the NYPD was trying late Monday afternoon to calm concerns after the magazine called the parade “an excellent target.”
The latest Rumiyah magazine included pictures of the parade – and described in graphic detail how to kill the most people by using a large load-bearing truck.
The magazine writes, “… a vehicle is plunged at a high speed into a large congregation of [unbelievers]…leaving behind a trail of carnage.”
It also writes that a prerequisite of a successful operation is conducting it solely to please Allah.
The magazine also suggests other more general targets, such as pedestrian-congested streets, outdoor markets, and political rallies.
NYPD Deputy Director of Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism John Miller said at a news conference Monday that the department is planning for all types of threats in order to keep everybody safe.
“We plan every major event the way the Police Department has always planned them, which is for traffic and crowds, but today, in a way that’s different from the way they were always planned, which is with a complex counterterrorism overlay,” Miller said.
Miller said the NYPD has been preparing for the possibility of such an attack ever since the Nice attacks.
“After the Nice attacks in France, where a truck rammed into crowds at Bastille Day celebrations, the NYPD took a very proactive stance. The Intelligence Bureau identified 181 locations that rent trucks to the public in the metropolitan area.”
The bureau visited 135 of the locations, Miller said.
Miller emphasized that this was not the first time that the NYPD had thought of such a scenario.
“This is not something that occurred to us over the weekend when we saw the article in ISIL’s online magazine,” he said.
As CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, Miller said the NYPD is planning for any and all types of attacks.
“It’s not a one-threat approach, it’s an all-threat approach,” he said.
Last year, the parade festivities came just two weeks after the terror attacks in Paris killed 130 people. The NYPD had an enormous security presence to ensure a safe day for all, including 2,500 officers assigned to the parade.
But outside Macy’s Herald Square Monday, there was a range of reaction.
Esther Mittelman of Israel said she was “very nervous. It makes me nervous even being in Manhattan, but I had to come.”
“We live in a world where that’s always a possibility, so I don’t know, you have to keep living your life,” another woman said.
“If we started thinking a crowd over a certain size becomes a target, then we just stop living,” said Andrew Phillips of Ditmas Park, Brooklyn.
“You take threats seriously, but you can’t live your life afraid,” said Sarah LaBonte of Midtown.
The propaganda magazine is translated into several languages to try to influence the most people. The latest edition said the vehicle attack was “superbly demonstrated” in the Nice attack, where 86 people were killed.
Former FBI agent and security expert Manny Gomez said parade goers next week must be vigilant, but he believes law enforcement is on top of any potential threat.
“Time and time again, the NYPD and other authorities have proven that the Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of the safest places to be during that time period,” Gomez said.
In a statement, Macy’s said safety is a top priority, and the store is working closely with the NYPD in a security plan.
A federal law enforcement official told the New York Post there’s no credible specific threat against the parade.