Muslim Convert Charged| in Oklahoma Beheading

     NORMAN, Okla. (CN) – A Muslim convert “openly admitted” beheading a coworker and trying to behead a second one last week after he was suspended from work, Oklahoma said Tuesday.
     Alton Nolen, 30, was charged in a criminal information with first-degree murder, assault and battery with a deadly weapon, and assault with a deadly weapon.
     Nolen worked at a Vaughn Foods plant in Moore and had been suspended Thursday morning, the day he allegedly beheaded a woman.
     “Defendant left the HR office and drove to his residence for the sole reason to retrieve a large bladed knife,” the criminal information states. “Defendant entered the business and walked to the office where the first victim was standing. Defendant grabbed the first victim from behind and immediately began cutting her across the throat with the large knife, with a back and forth sawing motion.”
     Collen Hufford was 54 years old.
     Police say Nolen then attacked a second victim, Traci Johnson, 43, cutting her throat and the left side of her face. Johnson survived the attack.
     Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn said he would consult with Hufford’s family before deciding if his office would pursue the death penalty.
     Mashburn said interviews with witnesses are continuing and that additional charges will be added if warranted.
     “They threw chairs and kicked at him,” Mashburn said at a news conference Tuesday. “There were a lot of people trying to protect their co-workers and stop the attack.”
     According to Nolen’s now-deleted Facebook page, he also went by the name Jah’Keem Yisrael. His page displayed several images of beheadings and Osama bin Laden, in additional to posts regarding terrorism in the Middle East.
     Mashburn said the attack was sparked by a complaint Johnson made about Nolen and that it was probably more about race than religion.
     The district attorney declined to charge Nolen under Oklahoma’s anti-terrorism law, and called first-degree murder “the most appropriate charge.”
     “Oklahoma’s anti-terrorism statute is directed towards people who desire to coerce a civilian population or government into granting illegal, political or economic demands,” Nolen said.
     National reaction to the attack has been swift, with many denouncing it as a terrorist attack. U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Virginia, asked Attorney General Eric Holder to treat the incident as terrorism.
     “I am writing today to urge the Justice Department to continue to investigate this decapitation as terrorism and not be quick to just dismiss this as ‘workplace violence,’ as this administration notoriously did in the case of the 2009 terrorist attack on Fort Hood, which left 13 dead and more than 30 wounded,” Wolf said Tuesday. “In the wake of the department’s failure to ‘connect the dots’ between Anwar Awlaqi and Fort Hood terrorist Nidal Hasan, it is more important than ever for you to make clear to the department’s agents and attorneys that this is, in fact, terrorism and to determine whether this or other plots are part of an effort by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or al Qaeda to radicalize Americans and direct attacks in the U.S.”
     Wolf accused the administration of “downplaying” Islamic radicalization in the Hasan case. He said the Justice Department has the “obligation” to not repeat “the shameful mistakes” of the Hassan investigation and prosecution.
     Nolen was jailed twice before, according to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. He was last released in March 2013 after serving time for cocaine possession and intent to distribute charges.

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