Siraj Ibn Wahhaj [right] and his brother-in-law Luqman ‘Lucas’ Morten [left] were arrested after law enforcement officers searching a rural northern New Mexico compound for a missing 3-year-old boy found 11 children in filthy conditions and hardly any food.
A man who abducted his special needs toddler and skipped town from Atlanta, Georgia was training children on a “filthy and disgusting” New Mexico compound to carry out school shootings, according to prosecutors.
Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 39, the son of Imam Siraj Wahhaj, who feds have called an “unindicted co-conspirator” to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, told Taos County prosecutors that he was training 11 children found starving on the squalid grounds to carry out spree killings like the massacres at Columbine, Sandy Hook or Majory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Authorities busted the radical son during a search for his own boy, 4-year-old Abdul-ghani Wahhaj, whose remains cops believe they found on the compound.
“He poses a great danger to the children found on the property as well as a threat to the community as a whole due to the presence of firearms and his intent to use these firearms in a violent and illegal manner,” prosecutor Timothy Hasson wrote in an application to hold Wahhaj without bail, which was granted.
The 39-year-old father was arrested along with his wife Maryam’ Jany’ Lanville, his sisters Hujrah Wahhaj and Subhannah Wahhaj, who are believed to be the mothers of the group of children found impoverished at the improvised facility, which was covered in filth and without running water.
Subhannah’s husband, Luqman ‘Lucas’ Morten, was arrested as well
Taos County, N.M., Planning Dept officials Rachel Romero, [left] and Eric Montoya [right], survey the inhuman state of the compound in Amalia, N.M., on Tuesday. Eleven children were found living in deplorable conditions were rescued on Friday
All were booked on child abuse charges in the case. They all have pled not guilty and are due back in court on Friday.
The raid on the compound was prompted by a month-long search for little Abdul-Ghani ‘AG’ Wahhaj, who went missing in Atlanta where he lives with his mother back in December.
Based on an informant’s tip, New Mexico authorities learned the boy was seen on the compound and got a warrant to search the property on Aug. 3.
They found Siraj Wahhaj armed to the teeth, carrying a loaded revolver in his pocket and five loaded 30-round magazines in pouches on his belt. Within arms reach was an AR-15 rifle. Officers found four more guns in the bedroom of a shack located on the property.
The property which the group was squatting on was dug out with berms, tunnels and old tires. There was a buried trailer were some of the kids and adults slept.
Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe described the group as “heavily armed and considered extremists of the Muslim belief.”
Hogrefe announced Wednesday morning that authorities had found the body believed to be four-year-old Abdul-ghani Wahhaj on Tuesday after a second search of the property.
Investigators believe that Siraj Ibn Wahhaj drove the boy to the dusty training ground where he lived with another man, three women and the 11 malnourished kids.
An arrest warrant for Wahhaj claimed the father “wanted to perform an exorcism on the child,” but Ramzi clarified, telling CNN he’d been planning to perform a “ruqya” or an “Islamic practice involving prayer that is believed to help rid a body of illness.”
Aerial view of the squalid trailer compound in Amalia where Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, his brother-in-law Luqman Morton held the 11 hungry children who were found with three women living in rural northern New Mexico.
The three women, mothers of the bedraggled and malnourished children, were arrested following the weekend arrests of Ibn Wahhaj and Morton.
The women told authorities that they were forbidden by the men from talking about Abdul-ghani, but one of the children told cops that they had seen the boy dead on the property and witnessed Morten washing the boy’s body twice in a Muslim burial ritual.
Imam Siriaj Wahhaj, said he “was devastated that those remains could possibly be those of Abdul-Ghani,” according to a family spokesman.
The grandfather served as a character witness for convicted 1993 World Trade Center bombing ringleader Omar Abdel-Rahman. He was also the first Muslim to offer an opening prayer in front of the U.S. House of Representatives.
The children discovered living at the compound, many of them extremely malnourished, are now in state custody. They range in age from 1 to 15.