NEW YORK (WABC) — While there is currently no specific reporting regarding any threats to the 2023 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, the Israel-Hamas war “has created a heightened threat environment” that makes the parade an “attractive target,” a new threat assessment from the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and other agencies said.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul discussed state security amid the war on Tuesday morning.
The assessment, obtained by ABC News, expressed concern about “lone actors using online platforms to express threats of violence against Jewish, Muslim, and Arab communities, as well as committing simple, unsophisticated attacks that are difficult to detect in advance.”
The assessment also noted calls by al-Qaeda for followers to attack American, British and French nationals as well as Jewish people everywhere using “public events and large gatherings” as a backdrop.
“Tensions related to the ongoing Israel-HAMAS conflict, coupled with the widespread sharing of graphic and disturbing content related to this conflict, increase the prospects for violence in the United States with little to no warning,” the assessment said.
The 97th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade steps off from the Upper West Side of Manhattan and processes along a two and a half mile route to Herald Square. An estimated 3.5 million people will view the parade in person.
“Though the 2023 New York City Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade event will provide a broad set of potential soft targets for an attack, congested areas where the largest amount of people gather-particularly designated viewing areas-are likely the most vulnerable spots for a mass casualty attack,” the assessment said. “Nearby publicly accessible areas, mass-transit hubs, pre-event gatherings, and post-event celebrations may also be viewed as potential targets due to the ability to inflict significant casualties at such locations.”
Hochul is focusing state law enforcement on monitoring social media for threats.
An analysis by the New York State Intelligence Center showed correlation between events overseas and increased threats to New York City.
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