A 19-year-old American who attacked police officers with a machete on New Year’s Eve in Manhattan was charged Monday with “the attempted murder of an officer,” New York City police said. Trevor Bickford is accused of assaulting three officers just outside the security perimeter in Times Square, where New Yorkers gather by the thousands on New Year’s Eve.
He struck two officers in the head without endangering their lives before being immobilized by another officer with his service weapon and wounded in the shoulder. The young man is from Wells, a small town in Maine (northeast), according to the New York City Police Department, which did not provide further details at the time. According to US media, he recently showed signs of Islamist radicalization and is suspected of wanting to commit a suicide attack.
A farewell letter
According to anonymous sources cited by CNN, he carried with him a diary in which he expressed his desire to join the ranks of the Afghan Taliban and die a martyr. The New York Times states that he wrote a suicide note to his mother in this notebook.
Federal police questioned him in mid-December after being informed by a close friend of jihadist statements and are monitoring his activities online, agents told NBC on condition of anonymity. The FBI’s anti-terrorist unit is involved in the investigation, New York Police Chief Keechant Sewell confirmed at a press conference on Sunday without saying more.