Obama tells Americans homeland is safe as millions set off on Thanksgiving travel

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Obama: No Specific Threat to U.S. As Holidays Near

NEW YORK (Reuters) - President Barack Obama sought to reassure Americans they are safe on Wednesday as millions of people embarked on their annual Thanksgiving travels, with security at airports, New York City's parade festivities and other venues expected to be heightened amid jitters after the Paris attacks.

"We know of no specific and credible intelligence indicating a plot on the homeland," Obama told reporters at the White House, flanked by his top counterterrorism and national security advisers.

Watch more coverage:

Pres. Obama: Public Will Be Informed of Credible Threats

The FBI sent a bulletin earlier this week to police departments across the country warning of possible copycat incidents and sharing intelligence on how the assailants in Paris carried out attacks on Nov. 13 that killed 130 people.

The U.S. State Department also issued a world-wide travel alert on Monday warning American travelers to remain vigilant, particularly when visiting foreign countries.

Scenes from airports across the country this holiday:

20 PHOTOS
Thanksgiving travel
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Obama tells Americans homeland is safe as millions set off on Thanksgiving travel
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 25: Thanksgiving travelers pack Penn Station on November 25, 2015 in New York, United States. Security has been heightened in major U.S. cities going into the holidays despite no known threats. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 25: People go through security at JFK Airport the day before Thanksgiving on November 25, 2015 in the Queens borough of New York City. One of the biggest travel days of the year, area airports and other travel hubs are experiencing increased security following the terrorist attacks in Paris. Security in New York City has been heightened as experts try to determine the nature of threats from ISIS and other Jihadist groups. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 25: People wait to go through security at JFK Airport the day before Thanksgiving on November 25, 2015 in New York City. One of the biggest travel days of the year, area airports and other travel hubs are experiencing increased security following the terrorist attacks in Paris. Security in New York City has been heightened as experts try to determine the nature of threats from ISIS and other Jihadist groups. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Travelers wait to check-in to American Airlines Group Inc. kiosks at Ronald Reagan National airport (DCA) in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015. Airlines for America, the trade group for most large carriers, estimated 25.3 million people will fly on U.S. carriers from Nov. 20 through Dec. 1 during the Thanksgiving holiday, a 3 percent increase over 2014. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Amtrak police stand guard as they wait for Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to arrive to speak about holiday travel safety, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015, outside of a Metro subway station at Union Station in Washington. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Valarie Settle, of Roanoke Va., waits in line at a Greyhound station to board a bus as she heads to California for the Thanksgiving holiday Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, in Atlanta. An estimated 46.9 million Americans are expected to take a car, plane, bus or train at least 50 miles from home over the long holiday weekend, according to the motoring organization AAA. That would be an increase of more than 300,000 people over last year, and the most travelers since 2007. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
A traveler holds a dog as she checks in at American Airlines at LaGuardia Airport in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
People walks past New York State Police officers at Grand Central Station on November 24, 2015 in New York. After a string of terror attacks in several countries, the US government issued a worldwide travel alert warning American citizens of 'increased terrorist threats'. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
An Amtrak Police officer watches passengersas they board a train at Penn Station on November 24, 2015 in New York. After a string of terror attacks in several countries, the US government issued a worldwide travel alert warning American citizens of 'increased terrorist threats'. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO. - NOVEMBER 24: Travelers check in at the United Airlines ticket counter Tuesday morning at Denver International Airport. The main terminal was relatively busy even on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Airport officials expect Sunday to be the busiest travel day of the holiday week. (Photo By Steve Nehf / The Denver Post)
People walks past members of the Army National Guard at Grand Central Station on November 24, 2015 in New York. After a string of terror attacks in several countries, the US government issued a worldwide travel alert warning American citizens of 'increased terrorist threats'. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
A traveler rests on the floor as American Airlines aircraft are lined up the the gates at Miami International Airport, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, in Miami. Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel holidays of the year, both in the air and on the roads. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Military personnel walk through a terminal at LaGuardia Airport in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
A person in a turkey costume gives Nasreen Qasimi, 1, a toy airplane at LaGuardia Airport in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Security personnel walk through a terminal at LaGuardia Airport in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. An estimated 46.9 million Americans are expected to take a car, plane, bus or train at least 50 miles from home over the long Thanksgiving weekend, according to the motoring organization AAA. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Travelers wait to go through security at LaGuardia Airport in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
A worker unloads bags off a bus from Washington as it arrives ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, in Atlanta. A stronger economy and lower gas prices mean Thanksgiving travelers can expect more congested highways this year. During the long holiday weekend, 46.9 million Americans are expected to go 50 miles or more from home, the highest number since 2007, according to travel agency and car lobbying group AAA. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Passengers are reflected in a bus window at a downtown station ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, in Atlanta. An estimated 46.9 million Americans are expected to take a car, plane, bus or train at least 50 miles from home over the long holiday weekend, according to the motoring organization AAA. That would be an increase of more than 300,000 people over last year, and the most travelers since 2007. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
US Department of Homeland Security police walk through Penn Station on November 24, 2015 in New York. After a string of terror attacks in several countries, the US government issued a worldwide travel alert warning American citizens of 'increased terrorist threats'. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
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However, New York City officials have stressed there is no specific threat to the city, despite a video released last week by the militant group Islamic State that included images of New York. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks.

The Department of Homeland Security also said last Friday that there was no credible threat to the United States like the attacks in Paris.

Nearly 46.9 million Americans will travel over the Thanksgiving long weekend - the busiest U.S. travel holiday of the year - with 3.6 million going by plane, according to the AAA, a motorist advocacy group.

Some travel analysts expected airport delays as a result of the heightened security. Officials at the Transportation Security Administration, which oversees airport security, declined comment.

Scenes from airports across the country this holiday:

20 PHOTOS
Thanksgiving travel
See Gallery
Obama tells Americans homeland is safe as millions set off on Thanksgiving travel
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 25: Thanksgiving travelers pack Penn Station on November 25, 2015 in New York, United States. Security has been heightened in major U.S. cities going into the holidays despite no known threats. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 25: People go through security at JFK Airport the day before Thanksgiving on November 25, 2015 in the Queens borough of New York City. One of the biggest travel days of the year, area airports and other travel hubs are experiencing increased security following the terrorist attacks in Paris. Security in New York City has been heightened as experts try to determine the nature of threats from ISIS and other Jihadist groups. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 25: People wait to go through security at JFK Airport the day before Thanksgiving on November 25, 2015 in New York City. One of the biggest travel days of the year, area airports and other travel hubs are experiencing increased security following the terrorist attacks in Paris. Security in New York City has been heightened as experts try to determine the nature of threats from ISIS and other Jihadist groups. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Travelers wait to check-in to American Airlines Group Inc. kiosks at Ronald Reagan National airport (DCA) in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015. Airlines for America, the trade group for most large carriers, estimated 25.3 million people will fly on U.S. carriers from Nov. 20 through Dec. 1 during the Thanksgiving holiday, a 3 percent increase over 2014. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Amtrak police stand guard as they wait for Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to arrive to speak about holiday travel safety, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015, outside of a Metro subway station at Union Station in Washington. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Valarie Settle, of Roanoke Va., waits in line at a Greyhound station to board a bus as she heads to California for the Thanksgiving holiday Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, in Atlanta. An estimated 46.9 million Americans are expected to take a car, plane, bus or train at least 50 miles from home over the long holiday weekend, according to the motoring organization AAA. That would be an increase of more than 300,000 people over last year, and the most travelers since 2007. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
A traveler holds a dog as she checks in at American Airlines at LaGuardia Airport in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
People walks past New York State Police officers at Grand Central Station on November 24, 2015 in New York. After a string of terror attacks in several countries, the US government issued a worldwide travel alert warning American citizens of 'increased terrorist threats'. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
An Amtrak Police officer watches passengersas they board a train at Penn Station on November 24, 2015 in New York. After a string of terror attacks in several countries, the US government issued a worldwide travel alert warning American citizens of 'increased terrorist threats'. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO. - NOVEMBER 24: Travelers check in at the United Airlines ticket counter Tuesday morning at Denver International Airport. The main terminal was relatively busy even on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Airport officials expect Sunday to be the busiest travel day of the holiday week. (Photo By Steve Nehf / The Denver Post)
People walks past members of the Army National Guard at Grand Central Station on November 24, 2015 in New York. After a string of terror attacks in several countries, the US government issued a worldwide travel alert warning American citizens of 'increased terrorist threats'. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
A traveler rests on the floor as American Airlines aircraft are lined up the the gates at Miami International Airport, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, in Miami. Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel holidays of the year, both in the air and on the roads. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Military personnel walk through a terminal at LaGuardia Airport in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
A person in a turkey costume gives Nasreen Qasimi, 1, a toy airplane at LaGuardia Airport in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Security personnel walk through a terminal at LaGuardia Airport in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. An estimated 46.9 million Americans are expected to take a car, plane, bus or train at least 50 miles from home over the long Thanksgiving weekend, according to the motoring organization AAA. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Travelers wait to go through security at LaGuardia Airport in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
A worker unloads bags off a bus from Washington as it arrives ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, in Atlanta. A stronger economy and lower gas prices mean Thanksgiving travelers can expect more congested highways this year. During the long holiday weekend, 46.9 million Americans are expected to go 50 miles or more from home, the highest number since 2007, according to travel agency and car lobbying group AAA. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Passengers are reflected in a bus window at a downtown station ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, in Atlanta. An estimated 46.9 million Americans are expected to take a car, plane, bus or train at least 50 miles from home over the long holiday weekend, according to the motoring organization AAA. That would be an increase of more than 300,000 people over last year, and the most travelers since 2007. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
US Department of Homeland Security police walk through Penn Station on November 24, 2015 in New York. After a string of terror attacks in several countries, the US government issued a worldwide travel alert warning American citizens of 'increased terrorist threats'. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
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As many as 3.5 million people were expected to line the 2.5 mile (4-km) route of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City on Thursday, according to parade organizers. Many were expected to head to Manhattan's Upper West Side on Wednesday to watch the giant parade balloons being inflated on the eve of Thursday's parade.

The New York Police Department is ramping up its usual tight parade security, adding members of a new counterterrorism unit, officials said.

City officials have made numerous public appearances in recent days seeking to reassure New Yorkers and tourists.

"There remain no credible and specific threats against New York City," Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters on Monday. "I'm very, very confident in the NYPD's preparation for the parade."

Watch more coverage:

Snoopy! Sneak a Peek at the New Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Floats

The 89th edition of the parade, which features 8,000 performers, kicks off holiday events in the city, including the lighting of the enormous Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center next week and the New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square.

More than five million visitors come to the city between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve, according to the city's tourism agency. Chris Heywood, an agency spokesman, said all events are "business as usual."

Watch more coverage:

Tips To Get Through Airport Security in a Breeze This Thanksgiving

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