Ex-NJ Man Killed in San Bernardino, Was Outspoken About Radicalized Muslims
Workers at the Cape May County Department of Health watched news coverage of the San Bernardino shooting Wednesday, but it wasn't until Thursday morning that they learned a former employee of their office was among those killed in the tragedy.
More than a decade ago Nicholas Thalasinos – one of 14 people killed when gunmen opened fire at a county health facility - had been a health inspector in Cape May, Philly.com has reported.
Now a California resident, Thalasinos was also was also was a Messianic Jew whose Facebook page with filled condemnations and Jihadist terror and deeply critical of Muslim societies. He frequently posted links to news articles and blog entries claiming atrocities and crimes by Muslims in the U.S. or other countries.
His wife, Jennifer Thalasinos told the New York Times Nicholas Thalasinos has been friendly with the San Bernadino shooter and did not suspect anything was wrong.
“My husband was very outspoken about ISIS and all of these radicalized Muslims,” she told the Times. “If he would’ve thought that somebody in his office was like that, he would’ve said something.”
Linwood construction official Ed Beck told Philly.com that his wife was a co-worker of Thalasinos's at the Cape May County Department of Health. He said when they first heard about the shooting, they assumed the former New Jerseyan was fine. It wasn't until this morning, when they saw information on Facebook, that they learned Thalasino was among the victims.
Thalasinos had two adult sons. Philly.com reports that he was a resident of Middle Township while working in Cape May.
Beck said he and his wife had just spoken to Thalasinos and Sunday and described the former NJ man as "a really nice guy" with "good work ethic."
As dozens of friends filled his Facebook wall with condolences, pictures and well-wishes, others described him as a patriot who loved his country and Israel.
"Nicholas was a wonderful man, a true Patriot who loved America, and loved Israel... with all his heart. His passion was beyond words, as he shared with many of us," another Facebook friend, Nina Young Roppa said in a post.
"He was cold bloodedly murdered by representatives of the same brutal ideology against which he stood so uprightly and fought so bravely," another Facebook friend, Bat Zion Susskind-Sacks said.
Among Thalasinos' own recent posts criticizing Muslims or Muslim-majority countries:
Another Facebook friend went so far as to say she believes Thalaspinos was targeted.
"It sounds like Nick may have been a target by Muslim extremist," Erica Karas said on his page following the brutal murders Wednesday.
Authorities did not initially say what they believe motivated the San Bernadino shooters, but Thursday said Syed Rizwan Farook and wife Tashfeen Malik were radicalized and in touch with people linked to international terror.
Toniann Antonelli is the digital managing editor at NJ 101.5. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.