Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 39, was recently arrested and appeared in court Wednesday after authorities raided what was described as a “filthy” New Mexico compound linked to “extremist Muslims,” where it was discovered he was training children ages 1 to 15 to commit school shootings, according to new court documents.
There were 11 children discovered at the compound over the weekend, whom Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe described as looking like “third world country refugees not only with no food or fresh water, but with no shoes, personal hygiene and basically dirty rags for clothing,” Fox News reported. The conditions were “the ugliest looking, filthiest” he had ever seen, the sheriff added.
MORE: Court documents say Siraj Ibn Wahhaj was conducting weapons training at the New Mexico compound where 11 children were found hungry and living in filth.https://t.co/CAoMpNJdNL
— Denver7 News (@DenverChannel) August 8, 2018
Authorities described Wahhaj as “heavily armed with an AR15 rifle, five loaded 30 round magazines, and four loaded pistols, including one in his pocket when he was taken down” when the compound was raided, Hogrefe said, Fox reported.
Hogrefe has said that the adults at the compound were “considered extremist of the Muslim belief,” but he did not elaborate, CBS News reported.
Prosecutors said Wednesday that Wahhaj was using the guns to train the children “how to perform mass school shootings,” The Daily mail reported.
In a court doc by the DA asking that Siraj Ibn Wahhaj remain in custody, he writes that one of the children told their foster parent that Ibn Wahhaj “trained the child in the use of an assault rifle in preparation for a future school shooting, to kill as many people as possible.” pic.twitter.com/DDZa75DgA3
— Talal Ansari (@TalalNAnsari) August 8, 2018
The compound, located near the Colorado border, is linked to “extreme Muslims,” according to various reports, including Fox News.
The New York Post revealed that Siraj Wahhaj is the son of a Brooklyn imam of the same name, who is 68 years old and leads the Masjid At-Taqwa in Bedford-Stuyvesant, according to several congregants.
“Prosecutors named the elder Siraj Wahhaj — born Jeffrey Kearse — as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He also was a character witness in the trial of convicted terror plotter Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman,” The Post reported.
The imam was at one point on a list of people who “may be alleged as co-conspirators” to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, court documents released by prosecutors Wednesday said, CBS reported.
The elder Siraj Wahhaj testified as a character witness for the “blind sheikh” Omar Abdel Rahman, who was convicted in 1995 of plotting terror attacks in the United States, CBS reported.
There was a monthlong investigation into the disappearance of the younger Wahhaj’s son, 3-year-old Abdul-ghani Wahhaj, who is said to have medical issues and went missing from Georgia in December 2017, Fox reported.
New Mexico: “The documents claim Siraj Ibn Wahhaj was conducting weapons training where he was found Friday with 11 children in allegedly “third world” conditions. Wahhaj is also wanted in Clayton County in a child abduction case involving his son.” https://t.co/4wkPPpHken
— Natasha Fatah (@NatashaFatah) August 8, 2018
A child’s remains were found during the compound raid, but they have not yet been identified.
Wahhaj is being held without bail and faces child abuse charges.
Lucas Morton, Jany Leveille, Hujrah Wahhaj and Subhannah Wahhaj were also arrested.