Alton Nolen, a newly fired employee at a food processing plant in Moore, Oklahoma, allegedly stabbed and beheaded a 54-year-old front office worker, police said on Friday. FBI officials investigating the beheading of the woman are now looking into reports that suggest that Nolen also tried to convert his co-workers into Islam post his own conversion recently.
The incident took place in Vaughan Foods in Moore, a few days after Nolen was fired. Moore Police Department Sgt Jeremy Lewis told KFOR that the suspect drove to the place with a knife which he used to attack Collen Huggord, 54, stabbing her several times before severing her head. He also stabbed another woman, 43-year-old Traci Johnson, at the plant.
Nolen was attacking employees randomly, said the authorities. The motive behind the attack is still unclear, but the FBI has said it was looking into Nolen's background and whether his recent conversion to Islam was linked to the crime, Fox News reports.
"After interrogating Nolen's co-workers, we were told that he had recently been trying to convert several employees to Islam," the police department said in a statement. "Due to the manner of death and the initial statements of co-workers, the Moore Police department requested the assistance of the FBI in conducting a background investigation on Nolan."
Meanwhile, reports are circulating that the suspect appeared to celebrate terrorists on his alleged Facebook page while disparaging non-Muslims. In one picture, Nolen – who goes by the name 'Jah'Keem Yisrael', is seen giving the one-finger salute often used by ISIS terrorists, Examiner notes citing sources.
References to Islam first began appearing on his page in April 2013, and he frequently criticised the American culture while appearing to warn those who did not follow Islam.
In July, he called America and Israel "wicked" and urged Muslims to "wake up". He is also cited as saying in another post that Muslims do not celebrate holidays normally recognised by the American government. In March, he reportedly posted a photo of a demonstration with a banner that read: "Islam Will Dominate the World. Freedom Can Go To Hell."
According to state correction records, 30-year-old Nolen was convicted in January 2011 on multiple felony drug offenses, assault and battery on a police officer and escape from detention. He was released from prison in March last year.