KGUN 9News


Former classmate: Mahin Khan, man arrested on terrorism charges, showed signs of radicalization

Posted at 4:51 PM, Jul 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-05 15:45:28-04

A former classmate of the man accused of planning to commit acts of terrorism against government buildings in Maricopa and Pima counties says there were signs of trouble. 

Khan was arrested on Friday for planning to commit acts of terrorism in Pima and Maricopa Counties. 

The 18-year-old attended Catalina Foothills and that's where his classmate says he saw plenty of warning signs. 

"We would talk about a global issue or something and he would go and immediately blame Jewish people or anytime he would hear something about the middle east and something America has done there he would become really mad. He would always tell me how much he did not like America," the classmate told KGUN9. 

Khan is facing two charges of conspiracy to commit terrorism and terrorism. He is currently in custody of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. 

Catalina Foothills High Schoolconfirmed that Khan was a former student. 

During his time there he met this man who became one of Khan's only friends. 

"He was quiet but it was not long before he started to get very strange. He at one point had actually asked to purchase a firearm from me. And I obviously turned him down. Because that's a very weird question," the classmate said. 

We then asked the classmate what his reaction was to Khan's request. 

"I said no dude, that's not how things work," the classmate said. 

The classmate did not pursue what Khan wanted the firearm for. 

"He was very difficult to talk to. He had seemed to have taken me up as a friend and so he was a little more open with me and me and my friend had hung out with him a lot at lunch, trying to help him assimilate into Foothills."

The classmate then told KGUN9 they were only friends for about a month before he had to cut ties. 

"He started to express some of his political views to me. In person he would, at one point he went as far as to say 'what Hitler did was good. And he told me that he did not like the Jewish people. And that's when I realized he's not a normal was not long after that that he was beginning to tag me on Facebook in these calls to Jihad posts' and stuff for radicalizing Islam."

The classmate described those Facebook posts as being violent and combative.

"I immediately blocked him, untagged myself, reported him, distanced myself as much as I could because I knew there was something seriously wrong there," the classmate said. 
KGUN9 asked the classmate what his reaction was about a person like Khan living in the area and going to his high school. 
"I always felt really unsafe after he was gone. People asked if he would come back to Foothills in a more hostile way. I had actually always been somewhat uncomfortable there after it," the classmate said. 
The FBI has said there is no credible threat to any Fourth of July activities. 
The Arizona Attorney General's Office says Khan's court records have been sealed but will re-open sometime this week.