There’s a Devil Loose: Muslim Man Arrested at New Mexico Compound Was Training Children to Commit School Shootings

Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, was one of two men arrested at a compound near Amalia, NM. Police are still searching for his 3-year-old son, who Wahhaj allegedly took from the boy's mother in Georgia.
Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, was one of two men arrested at a compound near Amalia, NM. Police are still searching for his 3-year-old son, who Wahhaj allegedly took from the boy’s mother in Georgia.

The father of a missing 4-year-old Georgia boy was training children at a filthy New Mexico compound to commit school shootings, prosecutors alleged in court documents Wednesday. The documents say Siraj Ibn Wahhaj was conducting weapons training with assault rifles at the compound near the Colorado border that was raided by authorities Friday.

Prosecutor Timothy Hasson filed the court documents while asking that Wahhaj be held without bail after he was arrested last week with four other adults facing child abuse charges. Authorities are also awaiting word on whether human remains found at the site were those of Wahhaj’s son, who is severely disabled and went missing in December in Jonesboro, Georgia, near Atlanta.

“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,” Hasson wrote.

Prosecutors did not bring up the school shooting accusation during initial court hearings Wednesday for the abuse suspects. A judge ordered them all held without bond pending further proceedings.

In the court documents, authorities said a foster parent of one of the 11 children removed from the compound had told authorities the child had been trained to use an assault rifle in preparation for a school shooting.

Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe previously said adults at the compound were “considered extremist of the Muslim belief.” He did not elaborate, saying it was part of the investigation.

Aleks Kostich of the Taos County Public Defender’s Office questioned the new accusation of a school shooting conspiracy against by Wahhaj, saying the claim was presented with little information beyond the explanation that it came from a foster parent.

Kostich believes prosecutors are not certain about the credibility of the foster parent, whom he has no way of reaching to verify the claim, he said.

CBS News has learned Wednesday that Wahhaj is the son of a Brooklyn imam who was a possible co-conspirator in the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 — but was never charged.

The elder Wahhaj heads the Masjid At-Taqwa, a mosque that has attracted radical speakers over the years. Wahhaj met Mahmud Abouhalima when he came to the site to raise money for Muslims in Afghanistan.

CBS affiliate KRQE-TV reported that the malnourished children are in the custody of the state’s Children, Youth and Families Department.

In a Georgia arrest warrant, authorities said 39-year-old Siraj Ibn Wahhaj had told his son’s mother that he wanted to perform an exorcism on the child because he believed he was possessed by the devil. He later said he was taking the child to a park and didn’t return.

He is accused in Georgia of kidnapping the boy.

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SOURCE: CBS/AP