Man Gets 27-Year Prison Term for Knife Assault in Times Square

( – A radicalized young man who attacked three New York police officers in 2022 has received a prison sentence of 27 years. Now 20-year-old Trevor Bickford had traveled to Times Square, planning to carry out a jihad-style attack on police. His crime was motivated by Islamist extremism.

On New Year’s Eve 2022, 19-year-old Bickford, who had become obsessed with Islam and wanted to join Afghanistan’s brutal Taliban, hid an 18-inch kukri knife in a backpack and traveled from his home in Maine to Times Square, New York. There, he approached a checkpoint manned by three NYPD officers, then yelled “Allahu akbar” (Arabic for “God is great”) and assaulted them with the deadly blade, striking three in the head and seriously injuring them. However, one of the officers managed to draw their weapon and shoot the assailant in the shoulder, then arrested him. After his arrest, Bickford admitted his goal was to kill as many military-age government employees as possible.

Investigators found that Bickford had made a series of social media posts showing support for Islamic extremism. The backpack he took to New York contained what prosecutors described as “a book,” which contained a passage, highlighted by Bickford, reading “Fight in the Name of Allah and in the Cause of Allah. Fight against those who do not believe in Allah. Wage a holy war.” The book wasn’t named, but, in fact, those words are from the Hadith, a Muslim holy book that contains the words and acts of Mohammed.

Bickford’s defense lawyers claimed he was mentally ill when he committed the attack and is “deeply apologetic” for what he did, although, after his assault on the officers, he complained that he hadn’t achieved “martyrdom.” His lawyers had asked for a 10-year sentence, followed by 15 years of supervised release. The judge disagreed with their case and sentenced Bickford to 27 years in prison and supervision for the rest of his life.

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