According to its English-version magazine ‘Dabiq,’ Islamic State (ISIS) is urging its Western supporters to carry out attacks on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City; attacks similar in nature to the terrorist operation in Nice, France that killed 86 people this summer.
The NYPD is currently reinforcing security measures for the parade that typically draws around 3.5 million people along the 2.5 mile parade route. Police plan to use ‘sand-filled trucks and concrete barriers as blockades’ to thwart any type of possible truck attack on the parade or its spectators.
The ISIS propaganda article, coupled with a picture of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, gives implicit instructions on how to inflict maximum casualties using trucks along with a caption denoting the parade as a target-rich environment for their terrorist group.
The ISIS article references the lone wolf operation terror attack in Nice, France where Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhel ran a 19-ton truck into a crowd of people resulting in 86 deaths and over 200 injured; Police shot and killed Bouhel before he was able to inflict any more harm.
This tactic of vehicle ramming is nothing new and despite NBC stating this tactic was “pioneered in April 1995,” it actually dates back further to 1973 (a truck rammed into civilians and killed eight in Prague, Czechoslovakia) with the most notable attack being in Beirut, Lebanon where in 1983, two truck bombs rammed the US Marine Corps barracks, killing 241 Marines.
According to experts, this tactic of vehicle ramming is most often used by al-Qaeda and terrorists in Israel; speeding through crowds in a zigzag fashion and speeding up when authorities are approaching.
Experts said that attack mimicked a strategy often used by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and by attackers in Israel — zigzagging through the crowd and then speeding up when authorities approached. What makes this tactic so appealing to terrorist groups is that it doesn’t require the militant to have any working knowledge of firearms and/or explosives, something the US Department of Homeland Security and FBI have warned of since 2010.
The New York Police Department’s deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism, John Miller, stated that while the department is taking the possibility of this threat seriously, people shouldn’t let it ruin their holiday,
“This is not something that just occurred to us over the weekend. Bottom line: Come to the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Have a good time. Bring the family.”