FBI’s Suspect Was Reportedly on a Watchlist

FBI's Suspect Was on a Watchlist

(NewsReady.com) – New York City is an exciting place to be on New Year’s Eve. Tens of thousands of people gather to watch the famous ball, made of 2,688 crystal panels, drop as the clock strikes midnight. This year, as the city and its visitors gathered to welcome the new year and all of its promise, a man launched a violent attack on a law enforcement officer. New information reveals federal authorities may have already had their eye on the attacker.

Just before 10 p.m. on December 31, 19-year-old Trevor Bickford allegedly approached three officers who were new to Times Square and started swinging a machete at them. He managed to strike two of the New York Police Department (NYPD) officers in the head.

Officer Paul Cozzolino, a rookie who graduated from the academy just a day before, suffered a skull fracture and laceration, and the other officer also received a laceration from the weapon. One of the officers drew his weapon and fired at Bickford, hitting him in the shoulder.

According to a Fox News Digital report, a high-level law enforcement force claimed the FBI’s counterterrorism task force knew who the suspect was and was already monitoring him in the weeks before the attack. The teenager had recently allegedly converted to Islam and expressed interest in traveling to the Middle East. The FBI’s Michael Driscoll told reporters at a New Year’s Day presser that the agency’s Joint Terrorism Task Force is working with the NYPD “to determine the nature” of the attack. He promised they were going to do their best to run down every lead.

The New York Times reported that Bickford allegedly waited for officers not to be around civilians before he struck. He was allegedly angry about how Muslims are persecuted overseas.

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