Was terrorism targeting the Times Square New Year?
New York City police and the FBI are investigating Saturday night’s machete assault on three NYPD officers as a potential jihadist attack, according to news accounts that cited law enforcement sources.
The suspect in the attack has been identified as Trevor Bickford, 19, of Wells, Maine, according to ABC News.
BREAKING: Machete Attack on Cops Near Times Square Investigated as Possible Jihadist Terror Attack https://t.co/qPr61xl4pF
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) January 1, 2023
Bickford’s social media posts “indicate recent Islamic radicalization,” ABC reported.
Bickford was shot in the shoulder by police during the attack, which sent surrounding crowds running when it took place shortly after 10 p.m. The location was 52nd Street and Eighth Avenue, according to ABC, near the city’s famous Times Square New Year celebration.
One of the officers was a rookie who had just graduated the Police Academy on Friday, according to the New York Post. He suffered a laceration on his head and a fractured skull, the newspaper reported.
Another officer, an eight-year veteran, also suffered a laceration, the Post reported.
The third officer was also injured. All three are expected to survive, according to the Post.
An image of the weapon was released by the NYPD.
New York horror: Police officer stabbed in head with machete in possible NYE terror attack #NYE2023 #TimeSquare #NYC https://t.co/HppVuQNjeC pic.twitter.com/RFaCx1RRBu
— Daily Express (@Daily_Express) January 1, 2023
At a news conference at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell called the attack “unprovoked,” according to ABC.
“Unprovoked, a 19-year-old male approached an officer and attempted to strike him over the head with a machete,” Sewell said, according to ABC. “The male then struck two additional officers in the head with the machete.”
An “unprovoked” machete attack on three NYC police officers near Times Square on New Year’s Eve is being investigated as a terrorist incident. The suspect is a 19-year-old man from Maine, whose online posts indicate recent Islamic radicalization. https://t.co/8FHcNzUV43
— The Silent Majority (@siIentmajority) January 1, 2023
News of the attack was amplified by social media:
Multiple NYPD officers were hurt in a police-involved shooting near Times Square on New Year’s Eve.
near 52nd St 8th Ave when they were approached by the suspect armed with a large machete.
Video via: @diyarkurda#nypd #NewYear #Manhattan #TimesSquare #NewYork#nyc #Breaking pic.twitter.com/QS5ikFCOU6
— NY Actions (@NY_ACTIONS) January 1, 2023
UPDATE–VIDEO ”Suspected Islamic extremist from Maine with a machete during NYE celebrations at Times Square’ #breaking #mepolitics #mapoli #nhpolitics #maine #portlandme #newyork #nycity
credit daily mail
Overnight at NY Times Square New Years pic.twitter.com/bj5ts5Dpaw
— mainenewshound (@mainenewshound) January 1, 2023
According to ABC, Bickford does not have an arrest record, but family members had reported him to authorities because of recent behavior.
That put him on the radar screen of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, ABC reported, citing sources:
“Federal and local law enforcement investigators are combing through the suspect’s online postings, which preliminarily indicate recent extremist Islamic radicalization, the sources said,” ABC reported.
The NYPD counterterrorism bureau and the FBI are investigating, according to ABC.
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