Thirty-nine year old Siraj Wahhaj was arrested at a New Mexico compound on Friday after authorities discovered 11 starving children, three women and another man living together in squalor. The children range in age from 1-to-15 years old. Remains of a young child were also found on the property. Wahhaj abducted his three-year-old son from Georgia late last year and took him to northern New Mexico, where he has been hiding in a third-world style shack for months. He reportedly kidnapped his son in order to conduct an “exorcism.” The boy suffered from brain damage and had difficulty walking. Wahhaj blamed his health issues on the devil. The mother of the boy still lives in Georgia. Wahhaj’s father is an Iman in Brooklyn and has direct ties to the 1991 bombing of the World Trade Center. From Fox News:
Wahhaj’s family background was already controversial prior to his arrest. Wahhaj is the son of a Brooklyn imam, also named Siraj Wahhaj, who was named by prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the New York Post reported. The elder Wahhaj, who heads Masjid At-Taqwa mosque, was a character witness in the trial for Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the notorious “blind sheikh” who was convicted in 1995 of plotting terror attacks in the U.S.
But according to new information, Wahhaj was training some of the children at the compound to carry out school shootings. From AP:
Prosecutors say in court documents that the father of a missing Georgia boy was training children at a New Mexico compound to commit school shootings.
The documents filed Wednesday say Siraj Ibn Wahhaj (see-DAHJ’ IBN wah-HAJ’) was conducting weapons training at the compound near the Colorado border where 11 hungry children were found in filthy conditions.
Prosecutors filed the documents while asking that Wahhaj be held without bail. Wahhaj was arrested last week with four other adults. They are facing child abuse charges. Authorities say the remains of a boy also were found on the compound but have not been positively identified by a medical examiners.
The location where Wahhaj was found with the children and other adults is being described as a compound, but based on the evidence so far, it’s becoming clear it was a terrorist training camp.