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Chattanooga shooting: Who is Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez?

WATCH: The shooting of four U.S. Marines in Tennessee continues to puzzle authorities. They’re treating it as an act of terrorism, but aren’t sure if it was. They’re tracing where the gunman travelled and who he had contact with. But as Jackson Proskow reports, they still haven’t figured out his motive.

Federal authorities were not keeping an eye on Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez before the 24-year-old man killed four Marines Thursday in what authorities are investigating as a domestic act of terrorism.

And little is known about the Kuwait-born engineer who studied at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, the nearby school which was sent into lockdown when the shooting began Thursday morning.

Abdulazeez lived in Hixson, Tennessee, roughly 20 kilometres and a short drive over the Tennessee River from the Naval Recruitment Centre at the heart of the shooting.

Right now authorities have not suggested a motive behind the attacks.

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‘The world is a prison’

WATCH: FBI Special Agent Ed Reinhold answered questions about the Chattanooga shooting investigation, saying that the motive of the gunman remains unknown.

The Site Intelligence group linked Abdulazeez to a blog called “My Abdulazeez” that only contains two posts, both from July 13, 2015. His connection to the blog has not been confirmed by federal investigators.

In one, he suggested that “the world is a prison” in a short, allegorical story post titled “A Prison called Dunya.”

He then quotes from the Koran, writing: “Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children.”

He concludes the post by writing “the life we are living is nothing more than a test of our faith and patience.”

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“It was designed to separate the inhabitants of Paradise from the inhabitants of Hellfire, and to rank amongst them the best of the best and the worst of the worst.”

Abdulazeez was not on the radar of federal law enforcement, an anonymous U.S. official told The Associated Press.

And apart from an arrest in April, he had no criminal record.

He did, however, have “numerous weapons” according to the FBI special agent in charge, Ed Reinhold.

Abdulazeez was an electrical engineering student

He had been an intern at the Tennessee Valley Authority – the state’s power utility – a few years ago.

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Hussnain Javid, 21, went to school with Abdulazeez where they both studied electrical engineering. Javid also went to high school with Abdulazeez and described him as a popular wrestler.

“He was very outgoing,” Javid said. “Everyone knew of him.”

VIDEO: Chattanooga shooting suspect engages in amateur MMA fight

‘My name causes national security alerts’

But according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press Abdulazeez wrote in his yearbook, “My name causes national security alerts. What does yours do?”

And people that knew him – either his neighbours or people he met through his hobbies – praised him as a “nice kid” or trustworthy, according to a report in the Washington Post.

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Dean McDaniel, 59, is a neighbour to the Abdulazeez family and told the newspaper that the shooter was “a good kid.”

“I trusted him in my home.”

‘Today is a nightmare for the city of Chattanooga’

WATCH: Chattanooga Mayor describes ‘nightmare day’ for the city following shooting

The shooting started at approximately 10:30 a.m. Thursday when a shot rang out at a Navy recruiting centre on Old Lee Highway outside of Chattanooga.

FBI agent Reinhold said Thursday that Abdulazeez first fired into the military facility from inside his car but then got out to target the four marines.

“Today is a nightmare for the city of Chattanooga,” city Mayor Andy Berke said at an afternoon press conference Thursday.

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Sgt. 1st Class Robert Dodge, leader of Army recruiting estimated that between 30 and 50 shots were fired, damaging doors and glass inside the building.

He then drove to a Navy-Marine training centre approximately 10 kilometres away, authorities said. The entire attack took less than 30 minutes.

– With files from The Associated Press

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