The New York City Police Department is looking into the online history of a 19 -year-old man who attacked police with a machete during the city’s New Year’s Eve celebration after learning the attacker had reportedly converted to Islam and was later radicalized.
Around 10 to 11 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, officers were attacked by Trevor Bickford of Wells, Maine, wielding a machete right outside the security area for the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration, according to a Sunday press conference. The NYPD and the FBI are looking into Bickford’s online history and his phone after Mike Driscoll, FBI assistant director in charge, said during the conference that the FBI’s anti-terrorism unit was aiding the investigation, according to the New York Post.
“I want to be clear the FBI and the terrorism task force is working very closely with the [NYPD] to determine the nature of this attack and we will run every lead to the ground,” Driscoll stated. “[A]s you heard the mayor and the commissioner state earlier, that there is no ongoing threat, we believe this was a sole individual at this time, there’s nothing to indicate otherwise.”
Three officers were injured in the attack after Bickford struck two of them in the head with an 18-inch machete, according to the Post. Bickford had reportedly been on the FBI’s terror watchlist after his mother and aunt reported him for his comments about going to Afghanistan to fight for Islam, the Post reported, citing anonymous law-enforcement sources.
Additionally, Bickford allegedly told law enforcement that he had been creating a plan to attack officers “as recently as Friday,” according to the Post. Bickford got on an Amtrak train and traveled from Maine to New York on Dec. 29 with a backpack full of “packing camping gear, a diary and a last will and testament.”
Bickford was eventually shot in the shoulder by a rookie officer, Michael Hanna, who was also attacked by Bickford and is in stable condition along with the three injured officers, according to the Post. NYPD released an image of the blade on Sunday during the press conference.
Bickford’s diary urged his family to “repent to Allah and convert to Islam,” and condemned his brother Devon for joining the Marines, saying “[y]ou have joined the ranks of my enemy,” according to the Post. Bickford reportedly converted to Islam after his father, Tom Bickford, died of an overdose in 2018.
NYPD and the FBI did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.