On New Year's Eve in New York City, 19-year-old Trevor Bickford was arrested for allegedly attacking several NYPD officers with a machete or kukri in Times Square, near the location of where the ball drops, and authorities are saying the suspect was being monitored as a radical Islamic extremist.
Fox News reports that a "high-level police source" told the outlet that Bickford was being "watched by the FBI's counterterrorism task force in the weeks leading up to Saturday's attack." According to the police source, Bickford "recently converted to Islam and a tipster claimed he had expressed interest in going to Afghanistan."
Bickford, from Wells, Maine, allegedly slashed and stabbed two police officers that were working routine NYE security Saturday night around 10 pm while on Eighth Avenue, between 51st and 52nd Street.
The New York Post reports that one officer who was a rookie "assigned to the Police Academy" suffered a "laceration to the head." Another officer from Staten Island was also slashed in the head, however both cops were taken to Bellevue Hospital and are expected to recover. A third officer pulled his firearm and shot Bickford in the shoulder, ending the suspect's melee. That cop was sent to Mt. Sinai with unknown injuries, but is also expected to recover.
According to the Post, Boston FBI said there was an "open case" on Bickford as he was on their "guardian list," which is watchlist monitoring radicalization.
During a Sunday news conference, Michael Driscoll of the FBI said, "I want to be clear that the FBI, through the Joint Terrorism Task Force, is working very closely with [NYPD] to determine the nature of this attack."
"And we will run every lead to ground. I also want to be very clear, as you've heard said tonight previously, this is very much an ongoing investigation so our ability to talk about specifics is limited," Driscoll added.
The weapon that Bickford allegedly used was described as a "large knife" by Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell.
NYC Mayor Eric Adams said, "As we do a preliminary review of the body cam video, we see how well these officers executed the plan that was put in place by the New York City Police Department in ensuring we protect those who came here to bring in a new year."
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