Authorities found 11 children and four adults living in “filthy” conditions at the compound Saturday in Amalia, New Mexico. Prosecutors also alleged in court documents that Wahhaj, 39, was teaching the children to commit school shootings. The documents claim Wahhaj was conducting weapons training with assault rifles at the compound with the children.
The father of a missing Georgia boy was training children at a New Mexico compound to commit school shootings, prosecutors said in court documents obtained Wednesday.
A Georgia arrest warrant accused the boy’s father, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, the imam’s son, of kidnapping the child. Authorities said the father at some point told his wife he wanted to perform an exorcism on the boy, who cannot walk and requires constant attention because of a lack of oxygen and blood flow around the time of birth.
The search for him led authorities to New Mexico, where 11 hungry children and a youngster’s remains were found in recent days at a filthy compound shielded by old tires, wooden pallets and an earthen wall studded with broken glass.
Authorities found what Hogrefe called “the saddest living conditions and poverty” he has seen in 30 years in law enforcement. He said Wahhaj was armed with multiple firearms, including an assault rifle. But he was taken into custody without incident.
The missing boy’s grandfather, Siraj Wahhaj, a Muslim cleric who leads a well-known New York City mosque, told reporters he had learned from other family members that the remains were his grandson’s.
The imam said he did not know the cause of death.
“Whoever is responsible, then that person should be held accountable,” Wahhaj said.
Compound Leader Has Ties to World Trade Center Bombing
The man arrested at a squalid New Mexico compound is the son of a controversial Brooklyn imam who was on a list of people who “may be alleged as co-conspirators” to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, according to court documents released by prosecutors Wednesday. Siraj Wahhaj, who shares a name with his son who was arrested Saturday, testified as a character witness for Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the notorious “blind sheikh” who was convicted in 1995 of plotting terror attacks in the U.S.
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