18-year-old became radicalized as freshman in Brownsburg High School


Akram Musleh (Photo courtesy of U.S. Attorney’s office)

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BROWNSBURG, Ind. - Court documents are revealing more about the radicalized behavior an 18-year-old Brownsburg man displayed before being arrested Tuesday. FBI officials say Akram Musleh was headed overseas to join ISIS.

“Orlando, Chicago, New York, this could happen in the bigger cities, but it’s going to trickle out to the little cities,” said Amber Boyd, a neighbor of Musleh’s.

Musleh was interviewed in 2013 by the FBI as a freshman in Brownsburg High School. Then, Musleh had posted videos, sympathizing with terrorists to YouTube.

“It is surprising and it’s crazy that it’s Brownsburg, but at the same time, we all are going to have to come to the realization that this is what is going on,” said Boyd.

Neighbors said Musleh lived in a Brownsburg apartment with his parents. Court documents paint a picture of the radicalized behavior that was taking place inside of it.

Like an online conversation Musleh had with an individual he had hoped would help him join ISIS. In the conversation, the individual encourages Musleh to carry out a terror attack in Florida.

“It can happen anywhere. It can happen anywhere. But like I said, I didn’t expect it to happen right outside by window,” said Musleh’s neighbor, Erica Hibbler.

Musleh’s behavior wasn’t limited to online activity. He took his radicalization elsewhere in Brownsburg, all while being watched by the FBI.

Like when Musleh went to Williams Park in Brownsburg in 2015 where police say he tried to recruit kids to join ISIS. Or at the Brownsburg Walmart, where FBI agents spotted Musleh in May shopping apparently for pressure cookers, a product used to make homemade bombs.

“It’s just a wake-up call to pay more attention,” said Hibbler.

Neighbors Wednesday were wondering if the warning signs were there and were thankful this American was stopped from spiraling any further out of control.

“Why? Like, why? You’re 18. You have a whole lot of life to live,” said Hibbler.

No one was at Musleh’s home Wednesday to comment.

Musleh was arrested Tuesday before boarding a bus that was taking him to NYC, where he had planned to fly overseas and fight for ISIS.


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