Suspect In New York Stabbing Wanted To Join Taliban, Recent Radicalisation Suspected: Reports

The attacker has been identified as 19-year-old Trevor Bickford. Reports say the attack is being investigated as a possible of act of terrorism in the light of his suspected radicalisation.


Representative photo of New York Police Department (NYPD) personnel

The man in custody for attacking three police personnel with a machete on the New Year's Eve in New York is suspected to be an aspiring Talibani fighter. 

The man has been identified as 19-year-old Trevor Bickford. He attacked the police personnel as New Year celebrations were on at the New York's iconic Times Square. 

Though investigators are open to the attack being an act of terrorism, officials have said it was a standalone act and there is no ongoing threat, said a report.

Here is all we know about Bickford, his background, and the machete attack.

What we know of the attack?


Bickford attacked three police personnel on the New Year's Eve close to the iconic New York Times Square.

Bickford attacked two police personnel before swining his blade at the third who shot him in defence. All three personnel were injured. 

Bickford was arrested and he is currently undergoing treatment in custody at a hospital. The weapon involved in the attack was also recovered. 

The CNN reported that the Bickford attacked police personnel just a day after the New York Police Department (NYPD) warned of ISIS-styled attacks.

"The NYPD had sent a bulletin Friday to law enforcement partners across the country titled, 'ISIS-Aligned Media Unit Releases Video Ahead of New Year’s Eve, Demanding Lone Offender Attacks', according to the sources. The video, being circulated in online chat rooms, shows 'selected video clips, suggesting various means of attack, including explosives, handguns, knives, and toxins'," reported CNN.


The Insider reported the attack is being reported as a possible act of terrorism.

"The NYPD, FBI, and Joint Terrorism Task Force are coordinating an investigation into the attack," reported The Insider.

Injuries to police personnel are understood to be non-life threatening. Fox News reported that one of them was on his very post posting at the time of stabbing.

"A rookie officer, on his first night of policing, was slashed in the head, prompting another nearby officer to shoot Bickford. That officer was also struck, but he was not seriously injured. The rookie officer, identified by authorities only as Paul, is expected to recover," reported Fox.

Bickford wanted to join Taliban, was on FBI watchlist: Reports

Multiple reports say Bickford's belongings indicate his links to extremism and suggest he had undergone radicalisation

The Insider reported, "Federal and local law enforcement said Bickford's online postings indicate 'recent extremist Islamic radicalization'."

The CNN reported that Bickford carried a diary with him mentioning desire to join the Taliban and be a martyr, suggesting Islamist radicalisation.

It reported, "The 19-year-old being held by New York City police as the suspect in a New Year’s Eve machete attack against three police officers just outside a Times Square security screening zone carried a handwritten diary that expressed his desire to join the Taliban in Afghanistan and die as a martyr, law enforcement sources said."


It further reported that investigators are seeking warrants to access Bickford's devices.

"Investigators on Sunday were seeking search warrants for the suspect’s phone and online activities to determine if he had been viewing violent extremist propaganda, law enforcement sources said," reported CNN.

Fox reported that Bickford was on the watchlist of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at the time of the attack.

"A high-level police source also tells Fox News Digital that Bickford was being watched by the FBI's counterterrorism task force in the weeks leading up to Saturday's attack. The source also said Bickford recently converted to Islam and a tipster claimed he had expressed interest in going to Afghanistan," reported Fox.