The teenager accused of stabbing two NYPD officers with a machete on New Year’s Eve kept a handwritten journal professing his desire to join the Taliban in Afghanistan, according to a new report.
Trevor Bickford, 19, who remains in police custody after the attack outside the Times Square security zone, also wrote in the newspaper that he wanted to die a martyr’s death, CNN reported, citing police sources.
After Bickford allegedly stabbed two officers shortly before midnight Saturday, another NYPD officer shot him in the shoulder and he was rushed to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, along with the two officers. They are all expected to survive.
On Sunday, the FBI raided the teen’s family home in Wells, Maine, where Bickford was, to all appearances, a standout high school student before allegedly becoming radicalized by Islamic extremism.
In addition to the diary, Bickford reportedly carried a chilling letter urging his family to “repent to Allah” so that “they may be pulled out of the fires of hell.”
Trevor Bickford, 19, with a handwritten journal expressing his desire to join the Taliban in Afghanistan when he allegedly attacked NYPD officers with a machete on New Year’s Eve.
Bickford allegedly slashed two officers with this machete on 8th Avenue near Times Square around 10 p.m. Saturday night, where thousands of revelers were preparing to ring in the new year.
Bickford reportedly stated his desire to join the Taliban in Afghanistan. Taliban militants are seen patrolling Kabul last year, after retaking control of the country.
“To my family, specifically my mother, I’m sorry I wasn’t a good enough son,” the note read, according to a law enforcement source who spoke to the New York Post.
The note, which has not been made public, continues with Bickford reportedly writing his hopes that his family will one day see the world as he sees it.
Before the New Year’s Eve attack, Bickford had been an honor roll student, won awards for his artwork, and was a member of the championship football team in his hometown.
But after his father died of a drug overdose in 2018, it seems Bickford’s life was thrown into chaos.
“I am very afraid that you will not repent before Allah,” he wrote in the note to the family reported by the Post. ‘And therefore, I hope in my heart that a part of you believes so that you can be taken to hellfire.’
Bickford went on to call his brother Devon a traitor for serving in the US Army.
“For Devon, there was a time when we were close, but that time is long past,” the manifesto read, according to the Post.
Another officer fired at the suspect, striking him in the shoulder. All of the injured were taken to Bellevue Hospital, where they are in serious but stable condition, authorities said.
You have joined the ranks of my enemy. And that’s why I can’t give you kind words: return to Allah,” wrote the 19-year-old, who has no criminal record according to a preliminary investigation.
‘A [my brother] Travis. Of everyone I’ve met, the one who seemed closest to the faith is you,” Bickford reportedly wrote.
‘Of anyone who wanted to accept Islam with me, it is you. Please repent to Allah and accept Islam. I fear for you.
On Saturday night, Bickford allegedly attacked two NYPD officers on Eighth Avenue between 51st and 52nd streets, just outside of Times Square, where thousands of revelers were celebrating the new year.
Another officer fired at Bickford, hitting him in the shoulder. He remains hospitalized in Bellevue and charges are pending.
Bickford has no criminal record according to a preliminary investigation, but law enforcement sources say the FBI’s Boston field office has an open case on him.
Bickford’s home is located on Alpine Street in Wells, Maine, nearly five hours north of New York City.
Bickford (far right) appears in many social media posts with brothers Devin and Travis.
Authorities told NBC they were investigating whether the suspect had previously posted what they called jihadi writings online and then traveled to New York City to attack police.
Photos posted to Facebook show Bickford at different times in his life, many with his two brothers Devin and Travis.
There are photos of him playing football with the Wells High School Warriors championship football team, singing in the choir and marching with the guard.
Most recently in 2020, he was among a group of students who won awards for their artwork. Bickford won for her jewelry work, Seacoastonline reported at the time.
Before his death in 2018, reportedly from a drug overdose, their father, Thomas Bickford, proudly posted photos of his children and their accomplishments.
Family and friends were quick to praise the children and their bright future. Bickford’s father died at the age of 41, according to his obituary.
Bickford’s mom has a slew of photos on her Facebook page where she gushes about the 19-year-old, calling him an “old soul” and saying he’s lucky to be his mom.
Photos posted online by his family show Bickford with his siblings or with his dog.
His parents, Thomas and Audra D’Antilio, married on September 9, 2001, and raised their three children, Devin, Trevor, and Travis, in Wells, Maine.
The family patriarch could often be found coaching them in soccer and wrestling, according to the obituary.
His father, Thomas Bickford, died unexpectedly in 2018 at age 41, according to his obituary.
He also said that he was hard on his kids at times in terms of his coaching style, but “he loved his kids more than anything.”
Bickford’s mother, Audra D’Antilio, who eventually remarried, also has a plethora of photos on her Facebook page where she gushes about her son, calling him an “old soul” and writing that she feels lucky to be his mother.
On July 28, he shared a photo of Bickford for his 19th birthday, writing: ‘Happy 19th birthday Trevor. So proud and lucky to be able to call you my son.
‘You are an old soul and you amaze me every day with all that you enjoy exploring and doing. I love that you’re not afraid to try new things, and you really are the best bro ever. I am beyond proud of the man you are becoming, I love you.’
Just six months later, Bickford is being charged with the attacks on NYPD officers. Bickford and the police are all at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, where they are all expected to survive.
The whole family appears in the Tower of Terror at Disney World
Michael Driscoll, deputy director in charge of the FBI’s New York field office, said the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York City was investigating, but investigators believe the shooter acted alone.
The attack occurred just outside the high-security zone where thousands of revelers were being screened for weapons as they prepared to perform in 2023.
Bickford is accused of slashing an officer in the head, striking a second officer with the machete and striking a third officer, who fired his weapon, striking Bickford in the shoulder.
The attack and the sound of a gunshot briefly sent some people running, but the festivities in Times Square continued without interruption.
Mayor Eric Adams said at a news conference early Sunday that he spoke to one of the officers who was injured as he was being stitched up at the hospital.
“He was in a good mood,” Adams said. “He understood that his role saved the lives of New Yorkers today.”