NYPD Briefs on Security for the Thanksgiving Day Parade
At a news conference last week to discuss the security preparations for the Thanksgiving Day parade, John Miller, NYPD's Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism, said that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS, or ISIL), in its online magazine Rumiyah, encouraged supporters to use vehicles to conduct attacks around the world and included a photograph of the Thanksgiving Day parade, calling it "an excellent target." Noting that "this is not something that occurred to us over the weekend when we saw the article in ISIL's online magazine," he said that this is an element that NYPD had factored into plans for the Thanksgiving Day parade in past years. For example, he recalled that last year, the route was lined with hundreds of blocker cars at intersections, similar to the standard practice along a presidential route or other major events.
Miller said that after the attack in Nice, France, in which a truck ran into crowds at a Bastille Day celebration in July—an attack that was praised in the ISIS article—NYPD proactively identified 181 locations in the metropolitan area that rent trucks to the general public and visited many of them to provide guidance on identifying suspicious behavior by prospective renters.
NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said, "We handle these large events almost every day." Encouraging people to come to the parade, he said, "It's going to be the safest place in New York City."
Seaside Park/Manhattan/Elizabeth: Indictment Brings Additional Charges Against Rahimi
Last week, Ahmad Khan Rahimi, a.k.a. Ahmad Rahami, the defendant in the bomb-related incidents in Seaside Park, Manhattan, and Elizabeth in September, was formally charged in two separate indictments—an eight-count federal indictment in New York and a 30-count state indictment in Union County. The federal indictment files new charges in addition to the four in the original criminal complaint in September. In addition to the terrorism charges for detonating an explosive device on West 23rd Street in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, the defendant also faces charges for attempting to detonate another device on West 27th Street. He has also been charged with interstate transportation and receipt of explosives.
The state indictment in Union County charges Rahimi with five counts of first-degree attempted murder of a law enforcement officer and multiple counts of aggravated assault, in addition to several weapons charges.
Anti-Trump Protests in New Jersey Continue to be Peaceful
In New Jersey, protests against President-elect Trump have been peaceful, with no violence or arrests reported in news media accounts. At least 600 students on the main campus of Rutgers University conducted a march through the streets of New Brunswick on November 16, as part of a nationwide movement to create “sanctuary campuses” for students who are illegal immigrants (see photo). There were no incidents and no arrests. Also last week, students at Princeton University, New Jersey City University in Jersey City, and Montclair State University conducted demonstrations, based on news media reports.
In Asbury Park on November 20, a group of about 100 people marched to demand “fair and equal representation” for all persons. Organizers said that the event was not an anti-Trump protest, but acknowledged that the organizing coalition was formed in reaction to Trump’s election.
NJOHSP recognizes and safeguards the constitutional rights of Americans to freely assemble, speak, and petition. This item is reported for situational awareness.