Skip to main content
Press Release

Man Who Carried Out Machete Attack On NYPD Officers In Times Square On NYE 2022 Pleads Guilty To Terrorism Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York
Trevor Bickford Traveled to the Times Square New Year’s Eve Celebration in 2022 for the Purpose of Killing U.S. Officials in the Name of Radical Islamic Jihad and Used a Machete-Style Knife to Attack Three NYPD Officers

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Merrick B. Garland, the Attorney General of the United States, Christopher A. Wray, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and James Smith, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the FBI, announced today that TREVOR BICKFORD pled guilty to multiple counts of attempting to kill officers and employees of the U.S. Government and persons assisting them based on his jihadist attack using a machete-style knife against three New York City Police Department (“NYPD”) officers in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2022.  BICKFORD pled guilty today before U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel.  

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “A year and one day ago today, this Office charged Trevor Bickford with attempting to murder three NYPD officers while they were on duty protecting the thousands of civilians who flocked to Times Square just over a year ago to celebrate the New Year with friends and family.  Bickford targeted the iconic yearly celebration to carry out brazen acts of violence and hatred in the name of jihad.  Bickford, as with countless others who have carried out acts of terrorism in support of misguided ideologies, is now going to spend lengthy time exactly where he deserves – in federal prison.”

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said: “Last New Year’s Eve, Trevor Bickford attacked courageous NYPD officers protecting those celebrating in Times Square as part of his effort, as he later told law enforcement, to commit jihad in New York City.  Today’s guilty plea should serve as a warning: terrorists who target and attack law enforcement and endanger the American people will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

FBI Assistant Director in Charge James Smith said: “Trevor Bickford deliberately plotted to bring terror to the streets of New York by targeting law enforcement officers purely carrying out their oath to protect and serve.  His plea today is a stark reminder of the threat terrorists, and those they inspire, pose to our country.  In this case, as in all others, the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force, along with our partners, remain unyielding in fulfilling our mission to protect the American people.”

According to the Complaint, the Indictment containing the charges to which BICKFORD pled guilty, and other documents and information in the public record:

In December 2022, BICKFORD, a U.S. citizen and resident of Maine, traveled from Maine to New York City to, in his own words, wage jihad and kill as many of his targets as possible.  After considering his options, researching his target location, and settling on his plan of attack, he packed a large machete-like blade and went to one of the most densely populated areas in the U.S. at one of the most densely populated times possible: Times Square on New Year’s Eve.  BICKFORD then chose to ambush three NYPD officers, declared “Allahu Akbar,” an Arabic phrase meaning “God is great” that other radical Islamic extremists have similarly proclaimed while carrying out terrorist attacks, and attacked them with his blade, seriously injuring all three officers.  One of the officers managed to shoot BICKFORD in the shoulder, halting his violent rampage.  BICKFORD later declared that he carried out his attack to wage jihad and admitted that his goal was to kill as many military-aged men who worked for the U.S. Government as he could before himself becoming a martyr.  The machete-style knife with a blade over a foot long that BICKFORD used to carry out his jihadist attack is shown below:

The machete the defendant used

BICKFORD spent months before the attack consuming materials espousing radical Islamic ideology — including materials promoting the Taliban and reflecting the teachings of Sheikh Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi, a prominent radical Islamic cleric who was a spiritual mentor of al Qaeda — and contemplating ways to wage jihad.  As he immersed himself deeper into this propaganda, BICKFORD devoted himself to violent Islamic extremism and pursuit of the jihad that he would eventually unleash in the heart of New York City.  In the months leading up to his attack, BICKFORD focused on traveling overseas to support the Taliban in Afghanistan or elsewhere.  He planned to ally himself with the Taliban to fight against governments that, in his view, oppress Muslims, and to wage jihad against officials of governments that he believes are anti-Muslim, including the U.S. Government.  Ultimately, BICKFORD decided that he would not travel overseas and instead turned his attention to an attack here in the U.S.  After months of radicalization, this decision resulted in BICKFORD perpetrating his attack in Times Square on New Year’s Eve just over a year ago.  Near the scene of the attack, law enforcement recovered a book from BICKFORD’s backpack with the following passage highlighted: “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.”

*                *                *

BICKFORD, 20, of Wells, Maine, pled guilty to three counts of attempted murder of officers and employees of the U.S. Government and persons assisting them, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and three counts of assault of officers and employees of the U.S. Government and persons assisting them, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  The charges carry an aggregate potential sentence of 120 years in prison.  BICKFORD is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Castel on April 11, 2024. 

The statutory maximum penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding efforts of the FBI’s New York Joint Terrorism Task Force (“JTTF”), which consists of investigators and analysts from the FBI, the NYPD, and over 50 other federal, state, and local agencies, and thanked the FBI’s Maine JTTF and the Counterterrorism Section of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division for their assistance.

This case is being handled by the Office’s National Security and International Narcotics Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew J.C. Hellman, Sarah L. Kushner, and Kaylan E. Lasky are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance from Trial Attorney D. Andrew Sigler of the Counterterrorism Section.


Nicholas Biase
(212) 637-2600

Updated January 11, 2024

Domestic Terrorism
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-012