Criminologist Describes Alton Nolen's Possible ISIS Influence


Tuesday, September 30th 2014, 6:41 pm
By: Karl Torp


Revealing details behind the savage attack at Vaughan Foods still has many questioning whether it was an act of terror.

On Tuesday, the Cleveland County District Attorney said 30-year-old Alton Nolen's intent was to severe the head of his alleged second victim as well.

“Obviously there was some sort of infatuation with beheadings,” said Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn about the Muslim convert.

Masburn told the media Monday, terror charges would come from the FBI which is still investigating.

So far, authorities have not announced any link between Nolen and a terrorist organization.

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News 9 spoke with a professor who said, while there isn't a direct link between ISIS and Nolen, cults are bound to have loose cannons, or lone wolves, willing to act.

Dr. Howard Kurtz, a criminologist and an associate professor of sociology and criminal justice at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, said the attack at Vaughan Foods can be categorized as both "workplace violence" and a "terrorist attack” when you consider the nature of the attack.

"Whether you can find a direct link, with emails, phone call, isn't the point. The point is that what these groups are doing is promoting an ideology and we have to deal with that in this country," said Dr. Kurtz.

Dr. Kurtz compares ISIS to radical cults from the 1960's and 1970's that were good at recruiting people who felt they were without opportunity.

He thinks for the ex-con Nolen, that could have been the case.