NYC Attack: Suspect Reportedly Wanted to Join Taliban

Image copyright: Facebook [via New York Post]

The Facts

  • Law enforcement sources have revealed that the 19-year-old suspected of attacking three NYPD officers with a machete on New Year's Eve just outside a Times Square checkpoint at West 52nd St. and 8th Av. carried a handwritten diary expressing a desire to join the Taliban and die for his religion. The suspect was arrested Monday and faces multiple charges of attempted murder of a police officer.

  • Maine teenager Trevor Bickford, who was already on an FBI terrorism watchlist after his relatives tipped off the agency about his alleged radicalization, had also reportedly written a manifesto urging his family to "repent to Allah and accept Islam" in his diary.

The Spin

Establishment-critical narrative

Unfortunately, the troubled FBI has shown how incompetent it is as a law enforcement agency. Bickford was already the subject of an investigation by the FBI. He had so many red flags, including a desire to join the Taliban — it is outrageous that the Bureau couldn't prevent this heinous attack.

Pro-establishment narrative

This incident was handled well by NYPD and continues to be investigated thoroughly by federal authorities. As a young man with no prior criminal record, it was difficult to predict his actions on Saturday night, though more will be uncovered as the probe continues. Federal investigators will no doubt shed more light on Bickford's tragic path to radicalization.

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