Man in New Year’s Eve machete attack faces federal charges

Jan 10, 2023, 2:29 AM | Updated: 6:09 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — A man accused of attacking police with a machete near New York’s Times Square on New Year’s Eve is now facing federal terrorism charges, federal authorities announced Tuesday.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement that Trevor Thomas Bickford was charged with federal crimes in connection with his self-avowed jidad on U.S. government officials and his knife attack on three police officers in Times Square.

Bickford was already charged with attempting to murder police officers, assault and attempted assault in state court in Manhattan. If convicted, he faces a mandatory life sentence.

State prosecutors have said Bickford shouted “Allahu akbar” at about 10 p.m. on New Year’s Eve before striking one officer in the head and attempting to grab another officer’s gun. He was shot by police during the confrontation and was held without bail after he was arraigned by video from a Manhattan hospital.

The Legal Aid Society, a public defender organization representing Bickford, has urged the public “to refrain from drawing hasty conclusions and to respect the privacy of our client’s family.”

In the federal case, a criminal complaint in Manhattan federal court said Bickford told a family member in late November or early December that he wanted to go to Jordan or Afghanistan to be a suicide bomber for his religion.

He booked a ticket to fly to Jordan on Dec. 12, but didn’t board the flight, the complaint said.

A day later, according to the complaint, the FBI conducted a voluntary interview with him in which Bickford said he had bought tickets to fly to New Delhi, India, several weeks earlier, planning to then go on to Afghanistan. There he hoped to “ally” with the Taliban and persuade them to help him fight the oppression of Muslims in Myanmar, formerly Burma, the complaint added.

The complaint said that Bickford claimed he didn’t agree with the Taliban’s use of violence against civilians and had no intention of joining al-Qaida.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams called the New Year’s Eve assault on the police officers a “senseless attack.”

Keechant Sewell, commissioner of the New York Police Department, said the department’s “family is thankful our heroic officers survived this premeditated ambush, and the entire city commends them for preventing further bloodshed during one of our nation’s largest public events.”

She added: “Clearly, the threat of jihadist terrorism remains very real, and our country’s security begins with the dedicated local, state, and federal law enforcement officers who are committed to keeping us safe.”

Bickford, 19, of Wells, Maine, began studying radical Islamic ideology last summer, authorities said.

They said he decided in November to wage jihad against U.S. officials and officials of other governments he thought to be anti-Muslim.

He was charged with four counts of attempted murder of officers and employees of the U.S. government and people assisting them. Each charge carries a potential penalty of 20 years in prison in event of a conviction.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

substation...
Associated Press

Puyallup man accused in substation vandalism is released from custody

A federal judge issued the order for Matthew Greenwood, 32, after renewed efforts by his attorney to get Greenwood into a drug-treatment facility.
18 hours ago
FILE - The sun dial near the Legislative Building is shown under cloudy skies, March 10, 2022, at t...
Associated Press

Democrats in Washington state choose Conrad as new leader

The Washington State Democratic Party has chosen Shasti Conrad, the former leader of King County Democrats, as its new chair.
18 hours ago
Hinman Glacier...
Associated Press

Washington’s Hinman Glacier gone after thousands of years

The largest glacier between the high peaks of Mount Rainier and Glacier Peak has melted away after a long battle with global warming.
18 hours ago
Pierce County substation...
Associated Press

Man accused in holiday substation vandalism released from custody

A man charged with vandalizing electrical substations over the holidays to cover a burglary was released from federal custody.
18 hours ago
Associated Press

Police: 10 wounded in drive-by shooting in Florida

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — Ten people were injured Monday afternoon during a drive-by shooting in a central Florida neighborhood, police said. Lakeland Police Chief Sam Taylor said during a news conference that two of the victims were critically injured, while the wounds of the other eight victims weren’t considered life-threatening. Lakeland is located about 30 […]
18 hours ago
FILE - A visitor walks near the logo of Samsung Electronics in Seoul, South Korea, on Oct. 28, 2021...
Associated Press

Samsung’s profit plummets amid global economic woes

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics said Tuesday its profit for the last quarter plummeted nearly 70% as a weak global economy depressed demands for its consumer electronics products and computer memory chips. The company’s operating profit of 4.3 trillion won ($3.5 billion) for the three months through December was a 69% decline from […]
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Man in New Year’s Eve machete attack faces federal charges