Attack by man wielding machete that left three officers hurt near Times Square New Year's Eve celebrations is investigated as possible terror

New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell speaks next to Mayor Eric Adams (L) during a security briefing ahead of New Year's Eve on December 30, 2022 in New York City. This year's New Year's Eve is expected to return to pre-COVID-19 pandemic numbers with hundreds of thousands of people estimated to fill Times Square.
New York police commissioner Keechant Sewell addressed a New Year's Eve security briefing Friday.Alexi Rosenfeld/WireImage
  • Three New York police officers were injured in a machete attack on New Year's Eve in what is being investigated as a possible terrorism incident.

  • The officers are in a stable condition, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said Sunday.

  • The attack happened a few streets away from New Year's celebrations in Times Square.

Three New York City Police Department officers were injured by a machete-wielding attacker Saturday in what now is being investigated as a possible act of terrorism – just streets away from New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square.

The injured officers, who were on duty at the time, are stable, NYPD commissioner Keechant Sewell and Mayor Eric Adams said in a news conference Sunday morning.

The attack was shortly after 10 p.m. ET on 52nd Street at 8th Avenue outside the Times Square security screening zone, according to Sewell.

"Unprovoked, a 19-year-old male approached an officer and attempted to strike him over the head with a machete," she said. "The male then struck two additional officers in the head with the machete."

One of the officers fired his weapon and hit the suspect, later identified as Trevor Bickford, in the shoulder. Bickford was arrested and treated for his injuries, Sewell added.

One of the injured officers had graduated from the police academy on Friday, said Sewell.

The machete held by the attacker was recovered at the scene, according to the NYPD.

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The NYPD, FBI, and Joint Terrorism Task Force are coordinating an investigation into the attack. Because of online postings by the suspect and the method of the attack, law enforcement sources told ABC7NY that they think the incident could be classified as terrorism.

Federal and local law enforcement said Bickford's online postings indicate "recent extremist Islamic radicalization."

Bickford's family told law enforcement in the past few weeks that they were worried about his interest in such ideology, according to ABC7NY's sources.

Immediately after the attack, officials said that it likely was an isolated incident.

"I want to be very clear – there is no ongoing threat," Mike Driscoll, an FBI assistant director in New York, told reporters at the news conference.

"We believe this was a sole individual at this time," he added. "There is nothing to indicate otherwise."

Adams said that he had spoken to one of the wounded officers. "He was in good spirits. He understood that his role saved the lives of New Yorkers today."

"We're really pleased by the response and how our officers handled this situation," he added.

The NYPD deploys thousands of officers to the area surrounding Times Square every New Year's Eve, using metal detectors to screen all attendees for weapons.

Read the original article on Insider