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FBI probes beheading suspect's past
01:59 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

NEW: Suspect was forthcoming, cooperative, police say

Charges will include first-degree murder, assault

Suspect felt oppressed at work, law enforcement source tells CNN

No indications of link to terror, another source says

CNN  — 

He calls himself Jah’Keem Yisrael on Facebook. But he grew up as Alton Nolen, a good kid raised in a loving home, said a woman who identified herself as the mother of the Oklahoma beheading suspect in an online posting.

Nolen, 30, is expected to be formally charged in last week’s fatal attack at the Moore, Oklahoma, food processing plant from which he’d just been fired.

Police accuse him of beheading one woman and attacking another before being shot by the company CEO, also a reserve deputy. Nolen was in stable condition Monday.

Charges will include first-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon, according to Jeremy Lewis, spokesman for the Moore police.

The spokesman said Nolen was cooperative and forthcoming with detectives.

“He wasn’t trying to hide anything,” Lewis told CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.”

Nolen allegedly told investigators that he felt oppressed at work – particularly over not getting a raise, a law enforcement official said.

While his Facebook page included images of Osama bin Laden and an apparent beheading, there’s no indication that Nolen was motivated by terrorism, a second law enforcement official said.

Whatever the motivation, the violent image was at odds with the one offered by those who said they were his sister, mother and friends – none of whom said violence was part of his personality.

“My son was raised up in a loving home,” the woman who identified herself as his mother said in a Facebook posting Sunday. “My son was raised up believing in God. My son was a good kid. I know what they’re saying he done, but I’m going to tell you this: That’s not my son.”

The video was posted to the Facebook page of a woman named Megan Nolen, who said she was Alton Nolen’s sister.

“Alton, my brother, he’s always been a great person, a loving person,” Megan Nolen said in the post. “He’s always been a people’s person, he’s never been a violent person, so for something like this to have happened, we’re all still in shock right now.”

The brutal attack also seemed out of character to Karla Dunn, who was friends with Nolen’s younger siblings, according to CNN affiliate KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City.

“He was really just a normal person,” Dunn told the station. “He was polite. If you asked him to do something, he did it. It was like no red flags actually that I could ever think of.”

At some point, that no-red-flags life seems to have taken a turn. In 2006, CNN affiliate KOKI-TV in Tulsa reported, Nolen was arrested after a police officer saw him throw bags of crack cocaine and marijuana out a car window as he was being pulled over for traffic violations.

Out on probation in 2010, he was stopped for an expired tag when a trooper learned he had outstanding arrest warrants, KOKI reported. He struggled with the trooper, then escaped only to be arrested 12 hours later, the station reported.

In 2011, he was convicted on drug, resisting arrest and escape charges and sent to prison.

In online prison records related to that incident, authorities note that in addition to a “Jesus Christ” tattoo on his chest and praying hands on his right arm, he had the Arabic words for “peace be upon you” tattooed on his abdomen.

The Facebook page where Nolen posted under the name Yisrael – confirmed by police to be his – features a cover photo of fighters holding a machine gun and a rocket propelled grenade launcher.

U.S. beheading suspect to be charged

It also features numerous messages related to Islam but offers no hint he was planning an attack or that it had anything to do with his religion. The law enforcement official who spoke to CNN on Monday said Nolen had watched beheading videos, but it was unclear if they were linked to ISIS.

And another law enforcement official told CNN on Monday that there was no indication of a link to terror.

Nolen’s problems at work including getting in trouble for his performance and for trying to convert co-workers to Islam, the second official said.

While it’s unclear when Nolen himself converted, his Facebook page abruptly changed from posts featuring song lyrics, talk about football and other topics to posts almost exclusively related to Islam in April 2013 – shortly after he was released from prison.

Among the posts are screeds condemning the United States as “wicked” for failing to help Palestinians during the recent hostilities with Israel.

His last post condemned masturbation.

Leaders at the mosque he sometimes attended said he was quiet, not outgoing, and that there was no sign of violent tendencies in his personality, according to KOCO and The Oklahoman newspaper.

“The only time I ever said anything to him was one time,” Saad Mohammed, spokesman for the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, told KOCO. “He was in the mosque and he had his Quran and prayer rug on the floor. And I said, ‘Hey, pick it up because I don’t want the Quran on the floor.’ And he picked it up and he sat down. That’s it.”

CNN’s Pamela Brown and Javier de Diego contributed to this report.