“Chilling in Istanbul?” Terror Charges for Ohio Man Stun Friend

The Ohio man accused of plotting to join a militant Islamist al-Qaida affiliate in Syria and then use his training there to launch an attack back home in the U.S. had once been "the most normal kid," an old high school friend recalls. Abdirahman Mohamud was a Somali immigrant who had loved basketball and been nicknamed "Bones" for how skinny he was, former friend and Ohio college student Mohamed Elrayah told NBC News. Elrayah said he had Facebook messaged Mohamud last year. "I'm chilling in Istanbul," Mohamud replied, he said. "Just vacation." But prosecutors say it was anything but — rather, they say, he was en route to Syrian battlefields, an accusation that has floored his old friend. "I would like to ask him, 'What happened?' I just keep thinking, 'What happened to this kid?'" Elrayah said.

Contact Us