The alleged Islamic extremist who attacked multiple NYPD officers with a machete near the New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square has been identified as 19-year-old Trevor Bickford — who was already on an FBI watchlist, multiple law enforcement sources said Sunday.
Bickford, from Wells, Maine, is believed to have become a radicalized Muslim in recent years and surfaced on the federal agency’s terrorism “Guardian Watchlist,” even planning to travel to Afghanistan to fight alongside Islamic militants, sources told The Post.
He traveled to New York alone on an Amtrak train and packed camping gear, a diary and a last will and testament before he allegedly pulled off the New Year’s Eve machete attacks, the sources said.
Two officers working the holiday detail in Times Square were struck in the head with a large knife around 10 p.m. in the possible targeted attack, the sources said.
One of the cops, who is assigned to the Police Academy, suffered a gash to the head. A Staten Island officer suffered blunt force trauma to the head. They were both taken to Bellevue Hospital.
A third officer suffered unknown injuries and was taken to Mt. Sinai West. All three were expected to recover.
One of the cops shot Bickford in the shoulder, after he attacked them on Eighth Avenue between 51st and 52nd Street, the sources said.
Charges were pending against Bickford Sunday morning. He remained hospitalized at Bellevue, cops said.
Published reports reveal that Bickford appeared to be a typical American teenager before he allegedly became radicalized in the years after sources said his father died of an overdose in 2018.
According to the Portland Press Herald, he made the honor roll as a freshman at Wells High School and was a member of the championship Wells High School Warriors football team.
In 2020, he was among the students earning awards in art, in Bickford’s case for his work in jewelry, Seacoastonline reported at the time.
This summer his mother posted a birthday shout-out on Facebook.
“Happy 19th Birthday Trevor,” mom Audra Simpson wrote on July 28. “So proud and lucky to be able to call you my son.
“Your soul an old soul and you amaze me every day with all that you enjoy to explore and do,” she wrote. “I love that you have no fear of trying new things, and you truly are the best brother ever. I am so beyond proud of the man you are becoming. I love you.”
Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell described the weapon the troubled teen allegedly used in the attack as a “large knife,” and cops released a photo that showed it was 18 inches long.
The cops who were attacked were outside the security screening zone, Sewell said.
One of the cops suffered a laceration to the head, and a Staten Island officer suffered blunt-force trauma to the head.Paul Martinka
A preliminary search by investigators turned up no criminal record for Bickford, police sources said.
But police sources said the FBI in Boston has an open case on him and he is on something called a guardian list because of his radicalization. Bickford’s aunt notified authorities because he apparently made statements to her indicating a desire to go fight in Afghanistan, police sources said.
Sources said it is unclear when Bickford allegedly became radicalized but said he visited a mosque near his home.