New York City Marathon gets started under heightened security

By Danielle Haynes  |  Updated Nov. 5, 2017 at 11:34 AM
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Nov. 5 (UPI) -- The New York City Marathon kicked off Sunday morning under the watchful eye of the city's police department days after a truck drove into people on a bike path, killing eight people in Manhattan.

New York Police Department Chief Carlos Gomez said the 47th annual race will be a "very-well policed event, with many layers of security."

The 26.2-mile race snakes through all five boroughs of the city and includes more than 50,000 runners.

In addition to extra uniformed and plainclothes officers patrolling the streets, counterterrorism commandos with heavy weapons and bomb-sniffing dogs, and rooftop snipers are guarding the event. There also will be harbor vessels patrolling the rivers, aircraft monitoring crowds and sanitation trucks filled with sand to block anyone from driving into the runners.

The NYPD said it has received no credible threat to the race.

The Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility for the truck attack last week, calling suspect Sayfullo Saipov a "soldier of the caliphate."

Investigators said they believe Saipov was a "lone wolf" when he drove a rented Home Depot pickup truck into bicyclists and pedestrians on Tuesday afternoon.

NYPD shot and arrested Saipov after the attack, and found a note showing support for the militant group. Police said they found 90 videos and over 4,000 images related to Islamic State propaganda on his cellphone.

On Thursday, authorities placed nearly 60 concrete barriers along the Hudson River Park Bikeway to guard bicyclists from similar attacks.

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