Boston Tall Ships festival named a top risk for terrorist attack
The federal government has assigned Boston’s Tall Ships festival this weekend a “special event assessment rating 1”— a security designation typically reserved for high-risk events like presidential inaugurations and Super Bowls — after a rash of recent terrorist attacks abroad put authorities on alert.
Dozens of local, state and federal agencies will patrol Boston at this weekend’s festivities after DHS agreed to give the event a “SEAR 1” rating, Patrick McMurray, Massachusetts’ undersecretary for homeland security, told The Boston Globe.
State and city officials discussed their preparations at a Wednesday afternoon press conference and told the estimated 3 million individuals planning on attending the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta and Sail Boston Festival this weekend to expect heightened security measures, including the use of heavy machinery vehicles to block restricted areas.
Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans acknowledged that authorities aren’t aware of any specific threats involving this weekend’s event but are acting out of an abundance of caution.
“I know a lot of people are worried about the SEAR 1 rating, but that was done months ago, and is more about the complexity of the event,” he said Wednesday, also referring to the international nature of the event. Ships and dignitaries from 20 nations are expected to participate in this weekend’s event.