A New Year’s Eve machete attack on three New York City police officers near Times Square is being investigated as a possible terrorist act.

The alleged suspect is a 19-year-old man from Maine. His online posts suggest Islamic radicalization. Law enforcement sources identified the suspect as Trevor Bickford. Sources said that he took an Amtrak train to New York City on December 29.


Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell spoke at a news conference at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, reporting that the incident occurred at 10 p.m. on Saturday near West 52nd Street and 8th Avenue where officers checked bags for weapons or suspicious items.

“Unprovoked, a 19-year-old male approached an officer and attempted to strike him over the head with a machete,” Sewell said. “The male then struck two additional officers in the head with the machete.”

One of the injured officers was a rookie cop whose first assignment was the New Year’s Eve celebrations in Times Square. He was struck in the head, resulting in a skull fracture.

One of the police officers fired their weapon, hitting the suspect. The suspect was then taken into custody.

Bickford’s motive remains under investigation. Police are not ruling out that the incident was premeditated.

Bickford has no prior arrests, but his mother recently contacted law enforcement about concerns over Islamic radicalization. This prompted the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force to investigate the suspect as well as the New Year’s Eve attack.

Before New Year’s Eve, the New York Police Department noted that throughout the month of December “multiple pro-ISIS users disseminated extremist propaganda graphics broadly calling for attacks in advance of the New Year, advocating a wide range of low-tech tactics.”

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