FBI’s Suspect Was On A “Watchlist”

(PatrioticPost.com)- The 19-year-old man who attacked police officers in New York City with a machete on New Year’s Eve close to Times Square was already on the FBI’s radar before the attack happened.

A few weeks ago, FBI agents interviewed Trevor Bickford, the suspect who was arrested in the New Year’s Eve attack, after saying that he wished to travel abroad so he could help other Muslims. Law enforcement sources cited by CNN said that Bickford, who lived in Maine, said that he was even willing to die for his religion.

The sources said that his grandmother and mother called in a report to police in Wells, Maine, on December 10 after Bickford continued to say he wanted to go to Afghanistan so he could join up with the Taliban.

At the time, the FBI opened a big investigation into Bickford and even placed him on a terrorist watch list. Unfortunately, since the Taliban hasn’t been officially designated a foreign terrorist entity, the simple planning to join them doesn’t constitute a federal crime.

Those who express an interest in joining official foreign terrorist entities can face federal charges of attempted material support of a terrorist group.

Law enforcement officials have said that Bickford was able to make his way to New York City without the FBI being notified of his travel because he went there on an Amtrak train. This type of travel doesn’t tip off any of the terrorist watchlist databases.

Bickford was originally going to go to Miami, according to a CNN report, though he stopped off in New York City, checking in at Manhattan’s Grand Hotel on December 29. He then checked out of his hotel room on New Year’s Eve, taking all of his luggage with him before he committed the attack at Times Square.

Officials with the New York Police Department are recommending that Bickford be levied two counts each of charges of attempted assault and attempted murder of a police officer. While Bickford has been arrested, he hasn’t been formally charged as of yet.

The suspect was arrested two days after he allegedly attacked the police officers after making contact with them at a security screening point just outside of Times Square, where the city’s famous New Year’s Eve celebrations were taking place.

Law enforcement sources said that they found a diary in a backpack he had with him. Police said his backpack was taken from him at the security checkpoint and placed in a pile with other backpacks that were confiscated that day.

Bickford’s diary ends with what is essentially a last will and testament, one of the sources told CNN. The entry, which was dated as December 31 says that it will be Bickford’s last entry, and then gives instructions on how people should divide his belongings and how his burial should be conducted.

Entries in the diary also expressed Bickford’s desire to eventually join the Taliban, and also criticized his brother, who joined the U.S. military.