Islamic jihadists who attacked NYPD Officers in Times Square on NYE 2022 pleads guilty to terrorism charges


A radicalized Islamic jihadist pleaded guilty to terrorism charges on Thursday for attacking NYPD officers with a machete near Times Square on New Year’s Eve 2022, federal officials said.

Trevor Bickford, a 20-year-old Maine native, will face a potential 120 years in prison for slashing three cops with a 12-inch blade in the lone wolf attack during the annual midtown celebration attended by thousands of New Year’s revelers.

“Last New Year’s Eve, Trevor Bickford attacked courageous NYPD officers protecting those celebrating in Times Square as part of his effort, as he later told law enforcement, to commit jihad in New York City,” US Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said. 

“Today’s guilty plea should serve as a warning: terrorists who target and attack law enforcement and endanger the American people will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” he added.

Trevor Bickford, 20, is facing up to 120 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to attacking NYPD officers on New Year’s Eve, 2022. Steven Hirsch

Bickford, then 19, had traveled from his home in Wells to New York City days before the attack with the machete and the intent to wage jihad and kill as many people as possible, prosecutors said.

On New Year’s Eve, he yelled “Allahu Akbar” — or God is Great, in Arabic— as he lunged at police officers stationed on West 52nd Street and 8th Avenue with the machete.

He struck a 23-year-old officer from behind with the knife, fracturing the cop’s skull and leaving a wound that required internal and external stitches, prosecutors said.

Bickford was shot in the shoulder after he slashed three officers near Times Square. Paul Martinka

He injured two other cops in the slashing before an officer pulled out his gun and shot Bickford in the shoulder. He was then taken into custody.

Bickford later told investigators that he wanted to murder as many military-aged men working for the US government and then die, becoming a martyr and inspiration for other Islamic extremists.

“I charged another officer but dropped the knife and I tried to get the police officer’s gun but couldn’t,” he allegedly said, according to the criminal complaint against him.

Prosecutors said Bickford had become radicalized over the summer of 2022, consuming Islamist propaganda that included the teachings of a “spiritual mentor” of al Qaeda.

The three officers wounded were [from left] officers Louis Iorio, 33, Paul Cozzolino, 23, and Mickel Hanna, 28. Paul Martinka

He had been on the FBI’s radar since Dec. 10, when his mom tipped off local cops about his obsession with Islam and the department passed it on to the feds.

He had researched how to get overseas, where he intended to join the Taliban in Afghanistan or elsewhere in their fight against governments he viewed as oppressive to Muslims — but he instead turned his attention domestically and planned the attack on Times Square.

A book was found in his backpack near the scene with the highlighted passage: “Fight in the Name of Allah and in the Cause of Allah. Fight against those who do not believe in Allah. Wage a holy war,” prosecutors said.

Bickford used a more than 12-inch-long machete in the attack. NYPD

He initially pleaded not guilty in February 2022 before Thursday’s deal, in which he pleaded guilty to three counts of attempted murder of officers and employees of the U.S. Government and persons assisting them and three counts of assault of officers and employees of the U.S. Government and persons assisting them.

Each charge carries a max of 20 years. Bickford’s sentencing hearing has been scheduled for April 11, 2024.

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