OK nursing home worker threatened to behead colleague in a terrorist act, authorities say

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Police in Oklahoma City have arrested a nursing home worker who allegedly threatened to behead another staff member out of solidarity with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, according to news sources.

Jacob Mugambi Muriithi, a 30-year-old from Kenya, was on the job at the Bellevue Health and Rehabilitation Center earlier this month when he purportedly threatened to behead a co-worker because she wears a Star of David and he “represents ISIS,” The Oklahoman reported. The United States and allied forces recently began a bombing campaign against ISIS, which has taken over territory in the Mideast for a Muslim “caliphate.” ISIS operatives have beheaded two American journalists and called for sympathizers to launch “lone wolf” attacks within the United States.

The threatened nursing home employee contacted the police shortly after the incident, then again after a fired worker allegedly beheaded a woman at Vaughn Foods in the nearby town of Moore, OK, on Sept. 25, according to local Fox affiliate KOKH. While police arrested Muriithi the day after the Vaughn Foods incident, the two cases do not appear to be related, authorities have said.

Muriithi has told police that he was “joking,” according to KOKH. He is being held at the Oklahoma County jail on terrorism-related charges with bail set at $1 million. Bellevue terminated his employment on Sept. 17.*

The 62-bed facility conducted a background check at the time of Muriithi's hiring in July, which did not reveal any criminal record, according to a statement Bellevue emailed to McKnight's. 

"However, when Mr. Muriithi violated Bellevue's policies by threatening another employee he was promptly terminated," the statement read. "Bellevue's primary concern is and will always be the safety and comfort of its residents."

*Editor's Note: The original version of this article has been updated to include comments from Bellevue.