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

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.

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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 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."

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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."

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