Teen charged in Times Square attack expressed admiration for Taliban

‘All-American jihadi’ who stabbed cop in head with a machete in Times Square was carrying a hand-written diary during the attack – in which he expressed a desire to join the Taliban in Afghanistan and die a martyr

  • Trevor Bickford, 19, of Maine is accused of slashing two NYPD cops on Saturday
  • He reportedly carried a diary expressing his desire to join the Taliban
  • Bickford, from Maine, appears to have been radicalized in recent years  
  • His turn to Islamic extremism apparently came after his father died of overdose

The teen accused of slashing two NYPD cops with a machete on New Year’s Eve was carrying a handwritten diary professing his desire to join the Taliban in Afghanistan, according to a new report.

Trevor Bickford, 19, who remains in police custody following the attack outside the Times Square security zone, also wrote in the diary that he wished to die as a martyr, CNN reported, citing law enforcement sources.

After Bickford allegedly slashed two officers shortly before midnight Saturday, another NYPD officer shot him in the shoulder and he was rushed to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, along with the two cops. They are all expected to survive. 

On Sunday, the FBI raided the teen’s family home in Wells, Maine, where Bickford was by all appearances an upstanding high school student before allegedly radicalizing himself to Islamic extremism. 

In addition to the diary, Bickford reportedly carried a chilling letter in which he he urged his family to ‘repent to Allah’ so they ‘may be taken out of the hellfire.’

Trevor Bickford, 19, carrying a handwritten diary professing his desire to join the Taliban in Afghanistan when he allegedly attacked NYPD officers with a machete on New Year’s Eve

Bickford allegedly slashed two officers with this machete on 8th Avenue near Times Square around 10pm Saturday night where thousands of revelers prepared to ring in the new year

Bickford reportedly professed his desire to join the Taliban in Afghanistan. Taliban militants are seen above patrolling Kabul last year, after retaking control  of the country

‘To my family — specifically, mother — I’m sorry for not having been a good enough son,’ the note read, according to a police source who spoke with the New York Post. 

The note, which has not been released publicly, continued with Bickford allegedly writing his hopes that his family will one day see the world the way he does. 

Before the attack on New Year’s Eve, Bickford had been an honor roll student, won awards for his artwork, and was a member of the championship football team in his hometown. 

But after his father died of a drug overdose in 2018, it appears Bickford’s life descended into turmoil. 

‘I fear greatly that you will not repent to Allah,’ he wrote in the note to family reported by the Post. ‘And therefore I hold hope in my heart that a piece of you believes so that you may be taken out to the hellfire.’

Bickford went on to call his brother Devon a traitor for serving in the U.S. Army. 

‘To Devon, there was a time when we were close, but that time has passed,’ the manifesto said, according to the Post.  

Another officer fired on the suspect, hitting him in the shoulder. All of the injured were taken to Bellevue Hospital where they are in serious but stable condition, officials have said

‘You have joined the ranks of my enemy. And for that I can give you no kind words – return to Allah,’ wrote the 19-year-old, who does not have a criminal record according to a preliminary investigation. 

‘To [my brother] Travis. Of anyone I’ve known who I have felt is closest to faith — it’s you,’ Bickford allegedly wrote. 

‘Of anyone I’ve ever wanted to accept Islam with me — it’s you. Please repent to Allah and accept Islam. I fear for you.’ 

On Saturday night, Bickford allegedly attacked two NYPD police officers on Eighth Avenue between 51st and 52nd Street, right outside Times Square where thousands of revelers were ringing in the new year.

Another officer shot at Bickford, striking him in the shoulder. He remains hospitalized at the Bellevue and charges are pending. 

Bickford does not have a criminal record according to a preliminary investigation, but police sources say the FBI’s field office in Boston has an open case on him.

Bickford’s house is located on Alpine Street in Wells, Maine – nearly five hours north of NYC

Bickford (on far right) is pictured on many social media posts with brothers Devin and Travis

Authorities have told NBC they were looking into whether the suspect had previously posted what they called jihadist writings online and then traveled to New York City to target police.

Photos posted to Facebook show Bickford at different times of his life, many with his two brothers Devin and Travis.

There are photos of him playing football with the championship Wells High School Warriors football team, singing in the choir, and marching with the color guard.

As recently as 2020, he was among a group of students to win awards for their artwork. Bickford won for his work in jewelry, Seacoastonline reported at the time.

Prior to his death in 2018 – reportedly of a drug overdose – his father Thomas Bickford proudly posted photos of his sons and their achievements.

Family and friends were quick to praise the boys and their bright futures. Bickford’s father died at the age of 41, according to his obituary.

Bickford’s mother has a slew of photos on her Facebook page where she gushes about the 19-year-old, calling him an ‘old soul’ and says she’s lucky to be his mother

Photos posted online by his family show Bickford with his brothers or with his dog

His parents Thomas and Audra D’Antilio married on September 9, 2001, and raised three sons, Devin, Trevor, and Travis, in Wells, Maine.

The patriarch of the family could often be found coaching them at football and wrestling, according to the obituary.

His dad Thomas Bickford died unexpectedly in 2018 at age 41, according to his obit

It also said he was sometimes hard on his sons in terms of his style of coaching, but ‘he loved his boys more than anything.’

Bickford’s mother Audra D’Antilio, who eventually remarried, also has a slew of photos on her Facebook page where she gushes about her son, calling him an ‘old soul’ and writes that she feels lucky to be his mother.

On July 28, she shared a photo of Bickford for his 19th birthday and wrote: ‘Happy 19th Birthday Trevor. So proud and lucky to be able to call you my son.

‘You’re an old soul and you amaze me every day with all that you enjoy to explore and do. 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.’

Just six months later, Bickford is being accused of the attacks on the NYPD officers. Bickford and the cops are all at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, where are all expected to survive.

The whole family is pictured at the Tower of Terror in Disney World

Michael Driscoll, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York field office, said the FBI’s Joint Terrorist Task Force in New York City was investigating but investigators believe the attacker acted alone. 

The attack happened just outside of the high-security zone where thousands of revelers were screened for weapons as they prepared to ring in 2023.

Bickford is accused of slashing one officer in the head, striking a second officer with the machete, and swinging at a third cop, who fired his weapon, striking Bickford in the shoulder.

The attack and sound of a gunshot briefly sent some people running, but the festivities in Times Square continued uninterrupted.

Mayor Eric Adams said at a news conference early Sunday that he spoke to one of the wounded officers as he was being stitched up at the hospital.

‘He was in good spirits,’ Adams said. ‘He understood that his role saved lives of New Yorkers today.’

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