The teenager, who is accused of slashing two NYPD police officers with a machete on New Year’s Eve, carried a handwritten diary in which he expressed his desire to join the Taliban in Afghanistan, according to a new report.
Trevor Bickford, 19, who remains in police custody after the attack outside Times Square’s security zone, also wrote in the diary that he wanted to die a martyr, CNN reported, citing law enforcement sources.
After Bickford allegedly slashed two officers just before midnight Saturday, another NYPD officer shot him in the shoulder and he was taken to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan along with the two officers. They are all expected to survive.
On Sunday, the FBI searched the teen’s family home in Wells, Maine, where Bickford appears to have been an upstanding high school student before allegedly radicalizing into Islamic extremism.
Alongside the diary, Bickford was reportedly carrying a chilling letter urging his family to “repent to Allah” so that they “can be taken out of Hellfire.”
Trevor Bickford, 19, was carrying a handwritten diary in which he expressed his desire to join the Taliban in Afghanistan when he allegedly attacked NYPD officers with a machete on New Year’s Eve
Bickford allegedly slashed two officers with that machete on 8th Avenue near Times Square around 10 p.m. Saturday night, where thousands of revelers were preparing to ring in the New Year
Bickford reportedly declared his desire to join the Taliban in Afghanistan. Taliban fighters patrolled Kabul last year after retaking control of the country
“My family — especially my mother — I’m sorry that I wasn’t a good enough son,” the note said, according to a police source who spoke to the New York Post.
The note, which has not been released publicly, continued with Bickford reportedly writing his hopes that one day his family will see the world the way he does.
Before the attack on New Year’s Eve, Bickford had been an honors student, had won awards for his artwork and was a member of his hometown football team.
But after his father died of a drug overdose in 2018, Bickford’s life seems to have been in turmoil.
“I am very afraid that you will not repent to Allah,” he wrote in the message to the family, reported by the Post. ‘And so I carry the hope in my heart that part of you believes so that you can be taken out into Hellfire.’
Bickford called his brother Devon a traitor for serving in the US Army.
“There was a time for Devon when we were close, but that time is gone,” the manifesto read, according to the Post.
Another officer shot the suspect, hitting him in the shoulder. All of the injured were taken to Bellevue Hospital, where they are in serious but stable condition, officials said
“You have joined the ranks of my enemy. And I can’t give you any kind words for that – return to Allah,” wrote the 19-year-old, who according to preliminary investigations has no criminal record.
‘To [my brother] travis Of everyone I know who I think is the closest to the faith — it’s you,” Bickford reportedly wrote.
“Of everyone I have ever wanted to embrace Islam with – that is you. Please repent to Allah and accept Islam. I fear for you.’
On Saturday night, Bickford allegedly attacked two NYPD cops on Eighth Avenue between 51st and 52nd Streets just outside of Times Square, where thousands of revelers were ringing in the New Year.
Another officer shot Bickford, hitting him in the shoulder. He remains hospitalized at Bellevue and charges are pending.
Bickford has no criminal record, according to a preliminary investigation, but police sources say the FBI’s Boston field office has an open case against him.
Bickford’s home is on Alpine Street in Wells, Maine – almost five hours north of NYC
Bickford (far right) has been pictured in many social media posts with brothers Devin and Travis
Authorities have told NBC they are investigating whether the suspect previously posted so-called jihadist writings online and then traveled to New York City to attack police.
Photos posted to Facebook show Bickford at various times in his life, many with his two brothers, Devin and Travis.
There are photos of him playing football with the Wells High School Warriors football team, singing in the choir and marching with the color guard.
As recently as 2020, he was among a group of students who won awards for their artwork. Bickford won for his work in jewelry, Seacoastonline reported at the time.
Before his death in 2018 – allegedly from a drug overdose – his father Thomas Bickford proudly posted photos of his sons and their accomplishments.
Family and friends were quick to praise the boys and their bright future. Bickford’s father died at the age of 41, according to his obituary.
Bickford’s mum has a slew of photos on her Facebook page, in which she gushed over the 19-year-old, calling him an “old soul” and saying she’s lucky to be his mother
Photos posted online by his family show Bickford with his brothers or with his dog
His parents Thomas and Audra D’Antilio were married on September 9, 2001 and raised three sons, Devin, Trevor and Travis in Wells, Maine.
According to the obituary, the family patriarch was often there to coach her in football and wrestling.
His father, Thomas Bickford, died unexpectedly at the age of 41, according to his 2018 obituary
It also said he was sometimes hard on his sons about his coaching style, but “he loved his boys more than anything”.
Bickford’s mother, Audra D’Antilio, who eventually remarried, also has a slew of photos on her Facebook page in which she gushed over her son, calling him an “old soul” and writing that she feels lucky to be his mother be.
On July 28, she shared a photo of Bickford celebrating his 19th birthday and wrote, “Happy 19th birthday Trevor. So proud and happy to call you my son.
“You are an old soul and you surprise me every day with everything you love to explore and do. I love that you are not afraid to try new things and you truly are the best brother ever. I’m so incredibly proud of the man you’re becoming, I love you.”
Just six months later, Bickford is accused of assaulting NYPD officers. Bickford and the cops are all at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, where everyone is expected to survive.
The whole family is pictured in the Tower of Terror at Disney World
Michael Driscoll, deputy chief of the FBI’s New York Field Office, said the FBI’s Joint Terrorist Task Force in New York City is investigating, but investigators believe the attacker acted alone.
The attack happened just outside the high-security zone, where thousands of revelers were being screened for weapons as they prepared to ring 2023.
Bickford is accused of cutting an officer in the head, hitting a second officer with a machete, and assaulting a third officer, who fired his gun and punched Bickford in the shoulder.
The attack and the sound of a gunshot caused some people to run briefly, but the celebrations in Times Square continued uninterrupted.
Mayor Eric Adams said at a news conference early Sunday he spoke to one of the wounded officers as he was being stitched up at the hospital.
“He was in a good mood,” Adams said. “He understood that his role today saved the lives of New Yorkers.”