Trevor Bickford, a 19 year old Maine resident and Islamic extremist attacked NYPD officers with a machete on New Year’s Eve. Bickford is believed to have arrived in New York days before the attack. He carried a handwritten manifesto in his backpack, along with a collection of Islamic material and $200 after booking a room at a hotel in the Bowery in Manhattan, according to The New York Post.
At around 10 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, Bickford reportedly attacked officers working on the Times Square detail, including a rookie who was on his first assignment. The rookie and another officer from Staten Island were taken to the Bellevue Hospital with non-life threatening injuries after suffering a gash to the head and blunt force trauma to the head, respectively.
Bickford was stopped when he was shot in the shoulder and wounded. He was taken to the hospital and has not yet been charged.
In his manifesto, Bickford implored his family to “please repent to Allah and accept Islam.” He addressed the manifesto to his family, specifically his mother, saying that he was “sorry for not having been a good enough son.”
“I fear greatly that you will not repent to Allah. And therefore I hold hope in my heart that a piece of you believes so that you may be taken out to the hellfire.”
“To [my brother] Travis. Of anyone I’ve known who I have felt is closest to faith—it’s you,” he wrote according to police. “Of anyone I’ve ever wanted to accept Islam with me—it’s you. Please repent to Allah and accept Islam. I fear for you.”
The injured suspect’s most ominous words were addressed to his older brother who had served in the Marines.
“To Devon, there was a time when we were close, but that time has passed. You have joined the ranks of my enemy. And for that I can give you no kind words—return to Allah.”
The FBI had put Bickford on their radar after he reportedly became radicalized as recently as a month ago, but he was able to book an Amtrak train ticket to NYC and arrived on December 29.
Bickford is believed to have found Islam following his father’s death from an overdose in 2018 at the age of 41. His father, Tom, played an active role in the three brothers’ lives and “could often be found coaching them at football and wrestling,” according to the Portland Press Herald.
Bickford’s mother, Audra D’Antilio Simpson reportedly notified law enforcement officials that Bickford was attracted to violent Islamist ideologies. The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force is now looking into the suspect, the agency said.