Prosecutor: Suspect in Oklahoma beheading uttered Arabic words during attack

He also seemed to have “some sort of infatuation with beheadings,” according to the DA. I know what you’re thinking, but rest easy: The cops think this was more of a racial attack than a religious one. Whew.

Is this what his mother meant when she asked people to wait for the whole story to come out, incidentally? Sure, he beheaded a woman, but he was muttering in Arabic too?

Nolen had recently converted to Islam but Cleveland County Prosecutor Greg Mashburn said it appeared Nolen’s assault was tied more to his suspension. Mashburn said Vaughan’s human resources department suspended Nolen earlier Thursday after another co-worker, Traci Johnson, had complained that she had had an altercation with Nolen “about him not liking white people.”…

Mashburn said the attack seemed to be tied more to the complaints against him. “It had more to do with race rather than trying to convert people,” Mashburn said. He said there was a “back and forth with Ms. Johnson and that led her to make a complaint to the HR department.”

He attacked Colleen Hufford from behind before beheading her. Per the AP, he’s already admitted to police that he was trying to behead Johnson too when he slashed her across the throat and face:

“There was some sort of infatuation with beheadings. It seemed to be related to his interest in killing someone that way,” Cleveland County Prosecutor Greg Mashburn said. “Other than that, it seemed to be related to his being suspended earlier in the day.”…

“It is my understanding he was using some Arabic terms during the attacks and that is one of the many reasons the FBI is involved at this point in time,” Mashburn said.

That “other than that” is worth its weight in gold. I’m curious, incidentally, to know how Nolen’s co-workers knew he was using “Arabic terms” during the attack. The average American knows maybe five words in Arabic, I’d bet. I can think of a certain phrase known to be shouted during jihadi attacks that the average joe might recognize, but the prosecutor doesn’t say what Nolen said specifically. Stay tuned. As it is, these incidents of workplace violence are sadly all too familiar by now. Man has dispute with co-worker; man gets fired; man snaps and cuts off co-worker’s head due to his “infatuation” with beheadings while saying something in Arabic and, oh yeah, maintaining a webpage loaded up with jihadi porn. Wait, what?

Exit question via John Sexton: If the attack was racially motivated, will Nolen be charged with a hate crime?