An imam with known ties to former Al Qaeda mastermind Anwar al Awlaki appears to have influenced the life of Alton Nolen, the former Vaughan Foods employee accused of beheading a woman in Moore, Oklahoma on Thursday.
FBI documents show that Suhaib Webb, who was once the leader of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, had ties to the radical American cleric al Awlaki, Breitbart reported Saturday. Al Awlaki was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in September, 2011.
On Sept. 9, 2001, the Oklahoma cleric spoke at a fundraiser with Awlaki with hopes to raise funds for Atlanta-based H. Rap Brown, a man that shot and killed two police officers, Breitbart reported. Mr. Webb now serves as an Imam at a mosque in Boston once attended by accused Boston Marathon bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
Mr. Nolen posted a picture of himself on Facebook standing outside the gates of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City just three weeks ago, Breitbart reported. The caption with the Sept. 5 post reads: “At The Masjid (Mosque)Today For Jumar 9/5/2014 & Peforming Wudu!!!”
Mr. Nolan and the second victim of Thursday’s attack are currently recovering from wounds in a local hospital. Mark Vaughan, a reserve sheriff’s deputy and the Vaughan Food’s chief operating officer, stopped the attack by using a personal firearm.
Mr. Nolan, 30, was placed under arrest in a hospital after undergoing surgery, Reuters reported Saturday. He was charged with first degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon.
The former Vaughan Foods employee is accused of killing Colleen Hufford, 54, and stabbing Traci Johnson, 43. Authorities waited until he was coherent and could understand the charges before against him, said police sergeant Jeremy Lewis, Reuters reported.