(NewsGlobal.com)- According to reports, the machete-wielding attacker who injured two police officers on New Year’s Eve in Times Square was motivated by Islamic radicalism.
In a diary entry discovered after the attack, law enforcement authorities told news outlets on Monday that Bickford begged his family to “repent to Allah” and “join Islam.” The 19-year-old, who had just converted to Islam, allegedly expressed a desire to fight in Afghanistan alongside Islamic extremists, which led to his inclusion on the FBI’s terrorism blacklist.
Bickford, who committed the assault just hours before the new year, faces two counts of attempted murder and one count of attempted assault for each police officer he hurt. He might also be charged with terrorism.
The Muslim wielding a machete reportedly waited until the officers were secluded from onlookers before attacking. Bickford also refers to the U.S. military and his brother, who is in law enforcement, as the “enemy” in his diary.
Paul Cozzolino and Louis Iorio, two police officers who both sustained head injuries, were subsequently discharged from the hospital. Michael Hanna, a third officer, took down Bickford, who shot him in the shoulder.
The attacker, a native of Maine, traveled to New York City on Saturday after leaving his home state in December. His family informed authorities of his intentions to travel to the Middle East shortly after he left, spurring an FBI inquiry.
According to a spokesman for Alvin Bragg’s office, the Manhattan district attorney is holding off on announcing charges until after Bickford’s arraignment hearing. Bragg, a Democrat, was elected to office in 2021 with the help of a $1 million gift from left-wing billionaire George Soros.
Only a few months have passed since another Islamic extremist in New York State brutally stabbed novelist Salman Rushdie. Rushdie was stabbed 12 times by the knife-wielding attacker, who said that Rushdie had “attacked Islam” and that he had “respect” for former Iranian supreme leader Ruhollah Khomeini, who had issued a fatwa over Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses in 1989.