Terrorism: Islam Convert Attacks Police

(TheRedAlertNews.com) – A 19-year-old Maine native who recently converted to Islam committed a terrorist attack in downtown New York City on New Year’s Eve by slashing three police officers with a machete.

The recent high school graduate, Trevor Bickford from Wells, Maine, was shot in the shoulder by the third policeman he wounded and was arrested immediately, the New York Post reported.

The suspect had been on the FBI’s terrorism “Guardian Watchlist” over alleged ties with Islamist extremism.

Bickford attacked the unsuspecting police officers at about 10:11 pm on New Year’s Eve at W 52nd Street and 8th Avenue.

The terrorist assault occurred outside a police screening area for the New Year’s Eve festivities in Times Square, Keechant Sewell, the New York City Police Department commissioner, announced at a press conference on Sunday.

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

He described the attack weapon as a “large knife,” but the photo released by NYPD showed it resembled a machete with an 18-inch blade.

The officer Bickford attacked first is Louis Iorio, stationed in Staten Island and has been with the NYC police for eight years. He suffered a gash to the head.

The second wounded officer, Paul Cozzolino, is a rookie who had graduated from the Police Academy a day earlier. The recent Islam convert managed to fracture his skull. Both Iorio and Cozzolino were hospitalized at the Bellevue Hospital.

The third police officer, Michael Hanna, was also a rookie, but he had joined the NYPD in April. He took out the attacker by shooting him in the shoulder.

Hanna was also injured by Bickford and was hospitalized at Mount Sinai West.

While their injuries are serious, all three wounded police officers are expected to recover, the Post said.

Bickford had no criminal history, but he was monitored by the FBI, tracking his Internet browsing. According to some reports, his aunt and his mother informed the authorities he had said he wanted to fight in Afghanistan on the side of the Islamists.

Law enforcement sources told The New York Daily News that the Maine resident was a “radicalized terrorist.”

Bickford arrived in New York City on December 29 on an Amtrak train. He reportedly told FBI interrogators he came up with his terrorist attack plan the day after his arrival.

He had already stated he should attack someone who wears a uniform or is armed since such people were the “enemy of the state.”

Bickford’s backpack had a handwritten manifesto telling his family to “please repent to Allah and accept Islam.”

On Monday, the recent Islam convert was charged with two counts of attempted murder of an officer and two counts of attempted assault, Fox News reported.

He still didn’t face any terrorism charges as the FBI worked to figure out his precise motivation for attacking the NYPD officers.