Mohamuds 1st grade yearbook: They spelled his name wrong...
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  • Mohamud's 1st grade yearbook: They spelled his name wrong...
The LA Times profile paints Mohamud as a laid-back, jokester kind of kid who developed some alarming tendencies in recent years. His parents moved to America when he was five, settling in Beaverton where his engineer dad got a job at Intel and neighbors told the LA Times that they were a nice family who would often smile at them. His parents separated in the summer of 2009. In an email obtained by the FBI, Mohamud said he felt his family had betrayed him, and Time magazine quotes a man who says it was Mohamud's own father who first tipped off the FBI to keep an eye on the teenager.

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Mohamud's friends and classmates describe him as "a chill kid" who played good pickup basketball and wasn't super religious—he even drank beer, though Islam prohibits drinking alcohol. There were some weird incidents, though. For a high school physics project, he taught the class how to use a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

After high school, Mohamud moved to Corvallis, living off campus and taking pre-engineering classes at Oregon State. KATU news tracked down the article Mohamud wrote for magazine Jihad Recollections.

Numerous articles note that Mohamud withdrew from his normal life over the past couple months. He stopped attending services at his Corvallis mosque, he was registered for fall classes at Oregon State but quit in early October. Friends told the New York Times that Mohamud seemed confused in recent months. The Democrat Herald quotes a classmate, Mo Kim, who said Mohamud was shopping with friends the night before the planned attack.

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