The Jihadist That Beheaded My Neighbor Called for Jihad – But Nobody Wanted to Believe Him


Benjamin P. Sisney

July 27, 2016

6 min read




You’ve seen it all over the news, seemingly every day for months now – successful jihadist terror attacks around the world and foiled plots just down the street, like the one my colleague Matthew Clark recently described, where the FBI arrested a jihadist who lived just streets away from where we and our families live. 

The brutality is so disgusting, and so consistent, it’s mind-numbing.

You’ve also heard the mind-numbing complacency emanating from Washington D.C. Refusal to name the enemy. Refusal to recognize that we are at war with that enemy. And refusal to take meaningful action to fight, let alone win, that war.

You, like many, fight the tendency to grow accustomed and desensitized to this kind of news and our President’s refusal to fight to win. This is why you shouldn’t. This is why I can’t.

On September 25, 2014, in Moore, Oklahoma, a jihadist named Alton Nolen, a.k.a. Jah’Keem Yisrael, viciously beheaded a woman and began to cut the head off of another before he was shot and injured by a company official.

The beheaded woman was a wife, mother, and grandmother. She was a victim of jihadist terror.

She was also my neighbor. She lived about eight or so houses down from my home in Moore, Oklahoma.  Her house backed up to our neighborhood pond. She was the one who fed the geese that frequented our pond. Every night at dusk, the geese gathered at her back fence.  Every night she fed them.

For weeks after her death, the geese still flocked to her back fence each night at dusk, waiting for her. Her family continued her tradition.

Nolen’s savagery will soon be back in the news. He pleaded guilty in May and is set to appear in court next month, where the court will decide whether to accept his plea. 

Shockingly (or not), the FBI called it workplace violence. Clearheaded Americans know it was an act of jihad. Alton himself had called for jihad just months before the execution. Consider what media reports have revealed: 

  • He converted to Islam during his incarceration for past offenses.
  • He attended the same mosque as Zacarias Moussaoui, a convicted conspirator of the September 11 attacks.
  • He had been fired for arguing that women should be stoned.
  • Nolen had been trying to convert his workmates to Islam in the weeks before the crime.
  • While he executed Ms. Hufford, he was shouting Islamic phrases.
  • At a court hearing in May, he said:  “Praise to Allah. Praise to Allah. . . . I did commit those acts.” Nolen also complained about being judged in front of disbelievers, made numerous references to his Muslim faith, and stopped to pray to Allah.
  • According to prosecutors, Nolen “justified his actions based on his reading of the Koran and stated that he would do the same thing again to anyone who oppressed him.”
  • He wrote on his Facebook page that “SHARIA LAW IS COMING!!!!”
  • His Facebook activity indicated his support for jihad and beheadings – including phrases like “AMERICA AND ISRAEL ARE WICKED. WAKE UP MUSLIMS!!!” and “Islam will dominate the world. Freedom can go to hell,” quotations from the Quran, and images of a beheading, Osama bin Laden, and Omar al-Shishani, a prominent Islamic State fighter standing with other ISIS fighters, who he described as “Some of my Muslim brothers!!!!!”
  • Approximately two months before his attack, he posted a picture of a feast he intended to eat to celebrate the upcoming Ramadan “IF IM STILL LIVING.”
  • In another Facebook post, he called for “JIHAD! JIHAD! JIHAD!”

Prosecutors also told the court that Nolen’s victim “did not die immediately and tried to defend herself ‘as evidenced by the multiple defensive injuries to her hands, arms and chin.’ Co-workers who tried to fight off her attacker heard her screams and groans of pain.”

That happened in Moore, Oklahoma.  That happened to my neighbor.

The executive director of the  Oklahoma branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) had this to say in response: “What Alton Nolen did is the complete antithesis of Sharia law and what it teaches,” Soltani said. “Sharia law is not a threat.”

Really? Tell that to Ms. Hufford and her family. Tell that to Nadal Hasan’s victims at Fort Hood and their families. Tell that to the priest beheaded by jihadists this week during mass in Normandy, France. Tell that to those massacred in Paris, France, and Nice, France. Tell that to the victims in Germany.

Tell that to Nolan Alton. He said that “Sharia law is coming,” and it sounded like a threat. Should I not believe him?

The truth is that ISIS and its ilk are seeking out and calling on followers to execute jihadist attacks all around the world. Equally true:  jihadists are answering the call.

As Matthew Clark said it: “No matter what President Obama says or how much he wants to downplay the threat, ISIS is here.  It is growing support.  Its adherents are following its public directives.  And they are motivated by a jihadist adherence to radical Islam.”

Does it even matter whether each attack is planned by ISIS leaders in Syria or Iraq, directed, coordinated and/or carried out like a military operation or just an ISIS-inspired attack by a radical jihadist following ISIS online? Perhaps it may matter for the purposes of treaties; for purposes of outdated and naïve definitions of terrorism imposed upon law enforcement.

But I can assure you, it doesn’t matter to the victims savagely tortured, beheaded in their offices or churches, or mowed down with a truck by jihadists – all yelling jihadist phrases.

I also know our government has gotten so spineless that it doesn’t want us to see and it doesn’t want to say the words the jihadists say when they carry out their attacks. We’ve gone mad.

A doctor that refuses to diagnose a disease is a lousy doctor. A lawyer that refuses to advise a client of a legal problem is a lousy lawyer. Where does that leave a president that refuses to recognize a war against his nation, its citizens, and innocent people around the world?

Like I said, the global and local jihadist terror, and the Obama Administration’s refusal to name it and stop it, is mind-numbing. But if we go numb, I’m sincerely afraid to say, it will get worse.

My neighbor was beheaded, and the jihadist attack was swept under the rug by President Obama’s FBI as mere workplace violence.

But the jihadist, Alton Nolen, is a jihadist. Ask him.