Man Who Tried Killing Cops With Machete-Like Knife In NYE Times Square Attack Bags Lengthy Sentence

(Screenshot/YouTube/Eyewitness News ABC7NY)

John Oyewale Contributor
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A judge sentenced a Maine man to 27 years in prison Thursday after he pled guilty to committing a terrorist attack on police in Times Square on New Year’s Eve in 2022, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced in a press release.

20-year-old Trevor Bickford of Wells attacked and injured three New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers watching over the New Year’s Eve celebrations with a machete-style knife. The attack was a preplanned jihadist attack that could have killed and injured more officers and civilians, according to the DOJ’s statement. Bickford plead guilty to terrorism charges Jan. 11.

One of the injured officers shot Bickford, striking him on the shoulder and halting his attack. Bickford wanted to kill as many military-aged U.S. government officials as possible and become a martyr, the DOJ’s statement reads.

Bickford immersed himself in “the teachings of Sheikh Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi, a prominent radical Islamic cleric who was a spiritual mentor of al Qaeda.” He chose carrying out terror attacks on American soil over traveling to Afghanistan to join the Taliban, according to the DOJ. One of Bickford’s books recovered near the scene had the following highlighted excerpt: “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,” the DOJ said.

Bickford also watched an Al Qaeda propaganda video less than an hour before the attack, which encouraged viewers to”fight,” according to the DOJ. (RELATED: Three Police Officers Injured By Machete Wielding Assailant During NYE Celebrations In NYC)

Attorney General Merrick Garland thanked the NYPD “for its quick actions and bravery in disrupting this New Year’s Eve attack, and for the work it does every day to keep New Yorkers safe” and added that collaborative counterterrorism efforts would continue.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray described Bickford’s attack as “savage” and “a premeditated act of terrorism” and his ideology “violent,” according to the statement.

Arguing that he was mentally ill and suffering hallucinations, Bickford admitted to the judge, “I want to be clear that I am not making excuses for the fear and pain that I caused. Nothing could ever justify what I did. I take full responsibility for my terrible crime,” Seacoast Online reported.