TIMES SQUARE, Manhattan (WABC) -- The suspect who allegedly attacked three NYPD officers on New Year's Eve near Times Square is now facing federal terror charges.
The United States Justice Department announced Tuesday that 19-year-old Trevor Bickford has been charged with federal crimes in connection to the December 31 attack.
"An attack against New York City police officers is an attack against all of us - and today's charges make it clear that such violence will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said.
Authorities say the Maine teen whipped out a machete and attacked three NYPD officers, striking two of them in the head.
The attack happened near 52nd Street and 8th Avenue just after 10 p.m. on New Year's Eve, less than two hours before the ball dropped in Times Square to ring in 2023.
Moments after the attack, Bickford was shot in the shoulder by police.
The federal complaint said Bickford was on a "jihadist mission" when he attacked the officers.
"Trevor Bickford allegedly targeted the iconic yearly celebration to carry out a brazen act of violence and hatred in the name of jihad," U.S. Attorney Damian Wiliams said. "Bickford's alleged attack in one of the most visited destinations in the world on its busiest night of the year ironically only served to spotlight the coordination, resolve, and dedication of American law enforcement to guard the wellbeing of the public."
Bickford began consuming radical Islamic ideology in the summer of 2022, allied himself with the Taliban and contemplated going overseas before deciding to carry out the attack in New York, the federal complaint said.
Bickford told investigators the attack was unsuccessful because none of the officers died and because he did not achieve martyrdom.
The 19-year-old had already been hit with terror-related charges at the state level.
He faces a mandatory life sentence if convicted.
ABC's Aaron Katersky contributed to this report
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