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US federal charges added against ‘jihad-inspired’ Times Square machete attacker


US prosecutors have filed federal charges against a man who allegedly carried out a “jihad-inspired attack” against police officers near New York City’s Times Square on New Year’s Eve, the US Justice Department said Tuesday.

The four federal charges — all for attempted murder — against Trevor Bickford, 19, add to a slew of New York state charges, some terrorism-related.

Bickford, a resident of the northern state of Maine, allegedly traveled to Times Square on New Year’s Eve “to carry out a brazen act of violence and hatred in the name of jihad,” US Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement.

At a security checkpoint outside the gathering, Bickford stabbed and hit three New York police officers with a machete before being shot in the shoulder, the complaint says, adding that all three officers were hospitalized.

The four federal charges each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, according to the statement.

“We are deeply grateful for the bravery of the officers who were injured in this horrible attack,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland, who described the assault as “jihad-inspired.”

The criminal complaint alleges Bickford began “accessing and consuming materials espousing radical Islamic ideology” in the summer of 2022 and later was interested in traveling to the Middle East and Afghanistan “to support the Taliban.”

He “told a family member that he wanted to travel to the Middle East so that he could be a suicide bomber,” but later decided he “would wage jihad against the US Government within the United States,” the complaint says.

Last week prosecutors told a state court that Bickford also stated that “all government officials” were a target for him “as they cannot be proper Muslims because the United States government supports Israel.”

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