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News Reports: Chattanooga Attacker Wrote Of Martyrdom

Officials investigating last week's attacks at two military facilities in Chattanooga, Tenn., that killed five service members say they are examining writings believed to be by the Kuwaiti-born attacker.

The New York Times, citing a U.S. intelligence official, reported Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez wrote about suicidal thoughts and "becoming a martyr." ABC News also reportedon the writings.

But a family spokesman described the writings, which are at least a year old, as, in the words of The Times, "a loose assemblage" of Abdulazeez's thoughts. Here's more:

"As far back as 2013, Mr. Abdulazeez wrote about suicide and martyrdom, said the intelligence official, who has been briefed on the writings and spoke on condition of anonymity because of the investigation. ... Still, the official said, the writings do not describe planning for any specific attack, leaving the authorities struggling to piece together a motive for Mr. Abdulazeez, 24, to mount an assault on two military sites last Thursday."

Those attacks resulted in the deaths of five service members and of Abdulazeez, 24.

The revelations come a day after Abdulazeez's family said he was suffering from depression. The Associated Press, citing a person close to the family, has more details:

"He was first treated by a child psychiatrist for depression when he was 12 or 13 years old and several years ago, relatives tried to have him admitted to an in-patient program for drug and alcohol abuse but a health insurer refused to approve the expense. Abdulazeez had spent several months in Jordan last year under a mutual agreement with his parents to help him get away from drugs, alcohol and a group of friends who relatives considered a bad influence, the person said."

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Krishnadev Calamur is NPR's deputy Washington editor. In this role, he helps oversee planning of the Washington desk's news coverage. He also edits NPR's Supreme Court coverage. Previously, Calamur was an editor and staff writer at The Atlantic. This is his second stint at NPR, having previously worked on NPR's website from 2008-15. Calamur received an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri.