The man who carried out an attack on two NYPD officers at the Times Square on the New Year's eve has been identified as an alleged Islamist radical. Trevor Bickford, 19, was in the watch list of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Daily Mail reported. The young man from Maine had recently converted into Islam and had vowed his intention to go to Afghanistan to fulfill his Jihadist goals, the reports said.
Bickford slashed the NYPD cops at a high security zone in Times Square even as thousands of people trooped into the famed destination to celebrate the New Year. The cops attacked included a rookie officer who was slashed in the head and was critically injured.
The alleged jihadi attacked the officers with an 18-inch machete but was shot in the shoulder by another cop at the scene. The officers are expected to survive, while Bickford is also in hospital with gunshot wounds.
According to the Daily Mail the FBI has an open case against Bickford. The young man had been radicalised recently and had intended to go to Afghanistan, his aunt had informed the authorities, according to the New York Post.
The police said investigation into the incident is ongoing. "I want to be clear that the FBI, through the Joint Terrorism Task Force, is working very closely with [NYPD] to determine the nature of this attack ... And we will run every lead to ground. I also want to be very clear, as you've heard said tonight previously, this is very much an ongoing investigation so our ability to talk about specifics is limited," the FBI's Michael Driscoll said, according to the Fox News.
The attack against the cops was an unprovoked one, the police have said. According to Michael Driscoll, the assistant director in charge of the FBI's New York field office, the attacker acted alone. However, the authorities told NBC News that they are investigating the suspect's jihadist antecedents. They said they are analysing if he had published any 'jihadist writings' online.