- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A top congressman sent a letter Tuesday demanding the Justice Department investigate last week’s beheading in Oklahoma as a possible terrorist incident, rather than dismissing it as workplace violence.

Rep. Frank Wolf, the Virginia Republican who heads the House subcommittee that oversees Justice Department funding, said he doesn’t want the federal government to make the same mistake it did in 2009, when the Justice Department failed to connect the 2009 Fort Hood shooting to al Qaeda-affiliated operatives.

“Whether the Nolen investigation ultimately shows that he communicated directly with terrorists abroad or was independently inspired by the recent ISIS beheading videos, there is no question that this attack represents a direct threat from radicalized Islamist extremists to the American people,” Mr. Wolf wrote in his letter.

Alton Nolen is expected to be charged with murder by local prosecutors in Oklahoma later Tuesday.

Authorities say Mr. Nolen beheaded a coworker at a Vaughan Foods processing plant last week, and the case took on added dimensions when it was revealed he tried to convert colleagues to Islam.

It’s unclear whether the beheading was motivated by terrorism — but Mr. Wolf said he doesn’t want authorities to rule out that possibility until they investigate fully.

“His attack is the latest incident in a string of horrific beheading attacks, which are an emerging hallmark of radical Islamist terrorism, whether in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Middle East, Europe, and now, here in the United States,” the Virginia Republican said in his letter to Mr. Holder.

“We cannot again let political correctness drive this investigation and prosecution, as this administration did in charging Fort Hood terrorist Nidal Hasan with ‘workplace violence’ instead of terrorism. Then, as now, authorities sought to downplay the Islamic radicalization of the perpetrator in the months leading up to the attack, as well as any outside influence from terrorist groups,” Mr. Wolf said.

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