Hassan Abdi Dhuhulow, a 23-year-old raised in Larvik, Norway, began taking "long vacations" to Somalia starting in 2009, according to his family. Since then, his sister told the New York Times, contact with his relatives has been sporadic. A man with the same name as Dhuhulow was recently arrested in Somalia for murdering a radio journalist, but he was released in March for lack of evidence. Since then, a family member reportedly told the BBC, Dhuhulow had called home to say that he was in trouble.
What sort of trouble Dhuhulow may have been in remains vague, but a Norwegian television station reports the young man was known to be involved in an online forum related to Somali terrorist group the Shabab, where he posted pictures of "martyrs" killed in Bosnia.
Some of Dhuhulow's childhood classmates claim to have recognized him in video footage that's surfaced from the attack. One of them told a paper in Norway, "I remember him as fanatical when it came to Islam."
Despite the rampant speculation, police have yet to definitively declare Dhuhulow a part of the Nairobi massacre, due largely to the fact that many of the bodies recovered from the mall are too badly burned to identify without DNA testing. Authorities are having difficulty even distinguishing who was a victim and who was an attacker. Their main leads right now seem to be that the attackers are the ones whose charred remains were found next to AK-47s, as Kenyan police don't use those kinds of weapons.
"The bodies are charred," Kenya's chief government pathologist told the Times. "There’s no face. There’s no clothes. There are body parts ... and with body parts it’s difficult to tell."