WELLS, MAINE – Neighbors of accused radical Islamist Trevor Bickford were shocked when FBI agents raided his family home in their sleepy New England hometown – and stunned by claims that the local boy “ silent” allegedly attacked NYPD cops with a machete on New Years Eve.
“There was no indication here that this sort of thing was happening,” neighbor Ken Creed told The Post on Monday.
“Without sounding racist, we don’t have many,” Creed said. “And I’m not aware of any such influence in Wells.”
“Strange world,” he added.
FBI agents showed up at the quiet two-story Alpine Drive townhouse shortly after 19-year-old Bickford was shot in the shoulder after allegedly cutting three cops with a machete in Times Square Saturday night.
The teenager was already on a federal terrorism watch list at the time, sources previously told the Post.
It was a surreal turn of events for the silent former honor student who was once a member of Wells High School’s championship football team and received a school art award for his jewelry designs.
Locals said he worked as a gardener at the nearby Old Marsh Country Club, about five minutes from his family’s home.
“A typical news day but closer to home,” said a local named Rick, who declined to give his last name but said he had lived in Wells for 25 years and knew Bickford’s family. .
“They were always very quiet,” he said of the family. “We don’t really interact with them and they’ve always been very, very quiet.”
A local high school student described Bickford as “normal” and “calm”.
Sources said Bickford “found religion” after his father’s overdose death in 2018 and became a radicalized Muslim just a month ago.
But as he grew more extreme in his views – including indicating his desire to go fight in Afghanistan alongside Islamic militants – his own mother and aunt informed federal authorities of the teenager increasingly troubled, putting him on the FBI’s “Guardian Watchlist” on terrorism. at the sources.
On Sunday, federal agents arrived in the afternoon to search the Alpine Drive home, but had left by Monday morning.
“The FBI was conducting an authorized activity in connection with an ongoing federal investigation. To protect the integrity of the investigation, we will decline further comment,” FBI spokeswoman Kristin Setera told The Post.
The waterfront resort of just over 11,000 people is an unlikely location for FBI examination.
Wells has a quaint main street with shops and restaurants to cater to tourists. City attractions include scenic Moody Beach as well as a popular conservation center, the Wells Reserve at Laudholm.
Bickford, who grew up in the city with his mother, stepfather and two brothers – including a US Marine – remained in Bellevue Hospital on Monday when he was charged by the NYPD with attempted murder and aggression during the ambush.
Sources told the Post on Sunday that Bickford traveled to New York on an Amtrak train, which arrived Dec. 29, and appeared to have been a lone wolf. He had packed camping gear, a diary and a last will – as well as the weapon, a type of machete known as a Gurkha, sources say.
He reportedly told federal authorities after his arrest that he hatched the violent plan as recently as Friday, and said he wanted to attack a uniformed officer or someone with a gun because he is “the enemy of the state,” according to the sources.
In a handwritten manifesto, Bickford is said to have urged his family to “please repent to Allah and accept Islam”, according to sources.
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