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Suspected Times Square slasher was on FBI terrorist watchlist, reports

The suspect, Trevor Bickford, reportedly traveled by Amtrak from Maine to try to avoid getting stopped for being on the watchlist.

Published: January 3, 2023 8:14am

Updated: January 3, 2023 9:32am

The suspect accused of stabbing three New York City police officers on New Year's Eve near Times Square was already on the FBI terror watchlist for his radical Islamic beliefs, according to multiple media reports. 

The FBI also interviewed the 19-year-old suspect, Trevor Bickford, in mid-December in his home state of Maine after he expressed willingness to die for Islam, to which he recently converted. And he signaled a desire to travel overseas to assist fellow Muslims, law enforcement sources told CNN.  

Bickford was on an FBI watchlist after he also expressed a desire to travel to Afghanistan and join the Taliban there, multiple media outlets reported. The Afghan Taliban is not a State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization, so joining the radical group does not constitute a crime of attempting to materially support a terrorist group.

Bickford reportedly used Amtrak to travel from Maine to New York to avoid getting flagged for being on the watchlist.

Police are recommending Bickford face two attempted-murder charges and two attempted-assault charges over the attack Saturday, the New York Police Department said.

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