(Updates with parade's conclusion, police comment)
By Daniel Trotta
NEW YORK Nov 24 Macy's 90th Thanksgiving Day
Parade went off without incident in New York on Thursday amid
heightened security, police said, after Islamic State militants
abroad encouraged their followers to attack the popular holiday
New York police used sand-filled trucks, radiation
detectors, bomb-sniffing dogs and heavily armed officers to
defend the 2.5-mile (4-km) parade route in Manhattan.
Some 3.5 million people were estimated to attend the annual
parade, a nationally televised ritual that initiates the holiday
shopping season with giant balloons shaped like cartoon
A New York Police Department spokesman said there were no
reports of arrests, injuries or disturbances.
The 82 sand trucks from the Sanitation Department were used
to counter a threat by Islamic State, which has called the
parade an "excellent target."
The militant group has encouraged readers of its online
magazine, Rumiyah, to use motor vehicles to kill and injure
people, similar to the way a Tunisian-born assailant killed more
than 80 people at a Bastille Day celebration in Nice, France.
The sand trucks weigh 16 tons, and twice that when filled
with sand, making them difficult to move even if rammed by large
Islamic State, which controls swaths of Iraq and Syria and
seeks to inspire attacks by others abroad, claimed
responsibility for the July 14 attack in Nice.
"We are aware of some of the reports that have been out
there, but I want to assure all New Yorkers there's no credible
and specific information of any specific threat directed toward
this parade," New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news
conference on Wednesday.
Police have also used the sand trucks to protect nearby
Trump Tower, the home and headquarters of President-elect Donald
The parade, which began at 9 a.m., ran down Sixth Avenue,
one block from Fifth Avenue where Trump Tower is located, and
ended at the Macy's department store on 34th Street.
De Blasio estimated 250,000 people came out on Wednesday to
watch the giant balloons being inflated.
This year, police banned vehicle traffic from crossing the
parade route, unlike in past years when a few cross streets were
(Reporting by Daniel Trotta in New York; Additional reporting
by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Grant McCool and