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Digging Deeper: Alleged terrorists attended Tucson high schools

TUCSON – The Digging Deeper team uncovered the latest documents that involved the arrests of two Tucson men charged with terrorism-related crimes.

The federal government asked a judge to order both Ahmed Mohamed and Abdi Hussein to provide biometric information such as a finger or thumbprint to unlock an electronic device that was seized as evidence last month.

The two men were arrested at the Tucson International Airport on July 26 as they cleared security and were heading to catch a flight to Egypt.

This culminated a yearlong investigation by the FBI.

Through a records request from the Tucson Unified School District, News 4 Tucson was able to get a yearbook picture of Abdi Hussein when he attended Rincon High School.

He also attended Amphi High School as did Ahmed Mohamed.

Amphi officials said Hussein transferred to Rincon High School in 2017.

Mohamed transferred to Catalina in 2016.

TUSD officials weren’t able to give us any information on Mohamed because they said, “The parents of Ahmed Mohamed opted-out of student directory information, therefore we cannot release any information.”

News 4 Tucson was able to locate where Mohamed lived.

We knocked on the door at his mid-town house. We could hear voices inside, but no one answered.

We did locate some neighbors who knew him, they told us they often played basketball with him. They knew him from Catalina High School where they all went to school. One neighbor said, “He seemed pretty cool, he didn’t talk much. He seemed like a chill person.”

News 4 Tucson shared  details of the criminal complaint with the neighbors, such as Mohamed indicated he and Hussein wanted to be the “most wanted terrorists in the world.”

According to court documents, Hussein said he will “kill so many people” and he wanted to be on the front line.

He also wanted to “blow up the White House.”

Hussein indicated if someone tried to stop him he will come to Tucson and “the city will die.”

After hearing that another neighbor said, “This does concern me because I live down the street, my mom my brothers, for that to be happening in the neighborhood for someone to be wanting to do that’s crazy. “

Both alleged terrorists came to the United States as refugees from Somalia.

Mohamed is a permanent resident and Hussein remains a refugee with temporary status.

News 4 Tucson learned from sources that Ahmed Mohamed and his family were in Somalia, traveled to Uganda, and then arrived in Tucson in 2015.

He was working two jobs in the home healthcare industry.

Both suspects remain in federal custody.

Lupita Murillo

Lupita Murillo

Lupita Murillo is an investigative reporter. She is part of the Digging Deeper team that uncovers important issues focusing on crime that affects the community.
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