by Victoria Albert · August 8, 2018
Five adults, including Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, were arrested after authorities discovered 11 children at the filthy compound during a raid last week.
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast
The father of a missing Georgia boy was training kids to commit school shootings—and “kill as many people as possible”—at the makeshift New Mexico compound where 11 starving children were found living in “filthy” conditions, according to court documents filed Wednesday.
These exercises included weapons training with assault rifles, according to ABC affiliate KSFY.
Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, who is accused of abducting his 4-year-old son in December, and four other adults have been arrested for their connections with the makeshift, dirty compound, which housed 11 children between the ages of 1 and 15. CNN reports that three of the women arrested are suspected to be the children’s mothers, and that each faces charges of child abuse—although none has been formally charged. They were set to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon in Taos.
Court filings state that if the five defendants were released, “there is a substantial likelihood defendants may commit new crimes due to their planning and preparation for future school shootings.”
The compound was under investigation after a Friday raid found children clothed in rags and covered in “odorous trash,” living without plumbing or electricity. The raid was conducted as a part of the search for Wahhaj’s son, Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj, whom KSFY notes has “severe medical issues,” and cannot walk independently.
In the arrest warrant for his son Abdul-Ghani’s disappearance, KSFY notes, authorities claim that Siraj Wahhaj told the boy’s mother that he wanted to exorcize the child, who he claimed was possessed by the devil. Authorities further claim that Wahhaj said he was taking Abdul-Ghani to the park, but did not return.
On Tuesday, a child’s remains were discovered at the site, but it remains unclear if they are those of Abdul-Ghani.
Prosecutor Timothy Hasson asked that Wahhaj—who had an AR-15, semiautomatic rifle, five 30-round magazines, and four handguns when he was arrested—be held without bail.
“He poses a great danger to the children found on the property as well as a threat to the community as a whole,” he wrote, according to KSFY, “due to the presence of firearms and his intent to use these firearms in a violent and illegal manner.”
Wahhaj is the son of a prominent Brooklyn imam who was reportedly implicated in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here.
The Daily Beast · by Victoria Albert · August 8, 2018