Machete Attack Suspect in Federal Custody

NEW YORK (AP) — A man charged with attacking police with a machete near New York’s Times Square on New Year’s Eve was transferred to U.S. custody and made his initial federal court appearance on Monday to face terrorism charges.

Trevor Thomas Bickford, handcuffed and shackled at the ankles, slowly shuffled into a Manhattan federal courtroom for an initial appearance. Charges in a federal complaint allege he tried to murder officers and employees of the U.S. government. A U.S. magistrate judge gave prosecutors two weeks to seek an indictment.

In a soft voice, Bickford answered routine questions from the judge before he was returned to a federal jail after the brief appearance.

His court-appointed lawyer did not seek bail. She did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bickford, of Wells, Maine, was 19 when authorities said he attacked three police officers with a machete about two hours before the celebration began.

He also faces charges in state court, where prosecutors said he shouted “Allahu akbar” in the attack before striking one officer in the head and trying to grab another officer’s gun. He was shot in the shoulder by police and was taken to a hospital to recover from his injuries.

Authorities have said he began studying radical Islamic ideology last summer before deciding in November to wage jihad against U.S. officials and officials of other governments he thought to be anti-Muslim.

“Bickford intended to die in the attack, in an effort to achieve martyrdom,” the federal complaint said. “Bickford believed his attack was unsuccessful, because he did not kill any officers, and he did not die himself.”

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