By Tiffany Williams –
On December 31st, 2022, Trevor Thomas Bickford, 19, of Wells, Maine, traveled to Times Square in New York City for the Purpose of Killing U.S. Officials in the Name of Radical Islamic Jihad.
Bickford Used a Machete-Style Knife to Attack Three NYPD Officers working in coordination with the FBI to protect the New Year’s Eve festivities in Times Square.
Bickford has been charged by complaint with attempting to kill officers and employees of the U.S. Government and persons assisting them.
In the summer of 2022, Bickford began accessing and consuming materials espousing radical Islamic ideology, including materials promoting the Taliban and reflecting the teachings of Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, a prominent radical Islamic cleric who was a spiritual mentor of al Qaeda.
Over the ensuing months, Bickford radicalized, devoting himself to violent Islamic extremism and waging jihad.
In November 2022, Bickford was interested in traveling to the Middle East to support the Taliban and took steps towards traveling to Afghanistan to ally himself with the Taliban and work with the Taliban to fight against governments that, in Bickford’s view, oppress Muslims.
Bickford dedicated himself to the mission of waging jihad against officials of governments that he believes are anti-Muslim, including the U.S. Government. He told a family member that he wanted to travel to the Middle East so that he could be a suicide bomber for his religion, and ultimately he decided that he would not travel overseas, and instead would wage jihad against the U.S. Government within the United States.
Bickford, intended to carry out his jihadist mission on December 31st, 2022 when he traveled from Maine to New York City Times Square armed with a large, curved knife similar to a machete, known as a kukri, he intended to kill U.S. Government officials.
At approximately 10:10 p.m., at 52nd Street and Eighth Avenue, just blocks away from the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square, Bickford attacked three NYPD officers, who were detailed to the joint federal-state law enforcement operation to protect the New Year’s Eve celebration.
The location of 52nd Street and Eighth Avenue was an access checkpoint at which spectators could gain entry to the events in Times Square, and both FBI and NYPD personnel were deployed in the area of the checkpoint, including the three officers whom Bickford attacked.
Bickford approached the NYPD officers, declared “Allahu Akbar”—an Arabic phrase meaning “God is great,” which other radical Islamic extremists have similarly proclaimed while carrying out terrorist attacks—and stabbed and struck the officers in the head with his kukri.
Before Bickford could attack more targets, one of the victim officers shot Bickford in the shoulder, stopping the attack, and he was taken into state custody.
Bickford wounded all three officers, who suffered lacerations and other injuries, and each officer had to be taken to a hospital for treatment.
After being treated at a local hospital, Bickford was interviewed by law enforcement. During this interview he informed law enforcement that he went to Times Square, and walked around the area “trying to figure out the right time to kill.” while walking around the area he started reciting verses from the Quran in his head to “hype himself up” for his attack. He then identified an NYPD officer who was isolated from civilians and other officers, took out the kukri from his backpack, declared “Allahu Akbar,” and attacked the officer.
After attacking that officer, Bickford charged at another officer, and tried but failed to remove that officer’s firearm from the officer’s holster. One of the officer victims then shot Bickford in the shoulder, stopping his attack.
When asked why he conducted the attack, Bickford stated that the officer was a man in uniform who had a weapon; all men of military age were his targets; no one can work for the U.S. Government and be a true Muslim, because the U.S. Government supports Israel; and he wanted to kill as many of these targets as he could.
Bickford informed law enforcement that he intended to die in the attack, in an effort to achieve martyrdom.