The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been a Thanksgiving tradition since 1924 with millions in attendance. It may be fun for individuals to gather around their televisions to watch the pageant of balloons and performances, but there is nothing like experiencing this parade in person. The parade showcases celebrity performances, cheerleaders, marching bands, theater and Broadway performances, floats, and giant balloons that leave the crowds in awe. The parade begins on 77th Street and Central Park west at 9am and continues until about noon ending at 34th Street and 7th Avenue.
On November 11th, the latest edition of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)’s English-language magazine, Rumiyah, persuaded followers to carry out terror attacks using large, loading trucks, mentioning the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade would be an “excellent target” for this type of attack. The magazine included pictures of U-Haul and Hertz rental trucks, going on to describe that big trucks are easy to obtain, can inflict mass destruction on crowds when driven at high speeds, and are not going to draw attention that weapons such as guns and knives would. The Bastille Day attack in Nice, France, in which an ISIL follower collided into crowd of people killing 86 and injuring 430, was cited as a successful example for this method of attack.
The New York Police Department plans to have heightened security at this year’s event in response to ISIL’s threat. NYPD’s deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism, John Miller, says police have already incorporated precautionary measures for attacks such as this. Police Commissioner James O’Neill guarantees that the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be the safest place in New York City.