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Extremist Muslim father arrested at New Mexico compound housing 11 starving children was 'training them to commit school shootings' and had set up target practice area on the site

'We are starving and need food and water': Message that led to the rescue of 11 children who were found with heavily armed 'extremist Muslims'

Extremist Muslim father at New Mexico compound was training kids to carry out school

  • Siraj Wahhaj, 39, was arrested at a compound in Amalia, New Mexico, on Friday
  • Prosecutors say he was training the 11 children there to learn how to shoot guns
  • It was intended as practice for mass school shootings, according to police 
  • They were saved when police raided the property after intercepting a message intended for someone else outside which said they were all starving 
  • Wahhaj is the son of a prominent imam in New York City and had been on the run since December when he vanished with his disabled three-year-old son, AG 
  • AG was not among the 11 kids who were rescued on Friday 
  • Police are yet to confirm whether remains found at the compound belong to him
  • Also arrested were the 11 children's mothers and Wahhaj's brother-in-law 
Siraj Wahhaj, 39, was arrested at the compound in Amalia on Friday with his brother-in-law, wife and two sisters

Siraj Wahhaj, 39, was arrested at the compound in Amalia on Friday with his brother-in-law, wife and two sisters

The Muslim extremist father arrested at a New Mexico compound with 11 starving children had been training them to carry out school shootings, new legal documents claim. 

Siraj Wahhaj, 39, was arrested at the compound in Amalia on Friday with his brother-in-law, wife and two sisters. 

He was heavily armed with an AR-15 rifle and four pistols when police stormed the compound to arrest him. 

In court documents filed on Wednesday, prosecutors claimed he was using the weapons to train the children to perform mass school shootings. 

It is not yet clear if they had set out a specific plan targeting any one school or if the practice was general. 

The compound is close to the Colorado border.  

The FBI had been watching the compound for months after being led to it in their hunt for three-year-old AG Wahhaj, Siraj's disabled son who he vanished with in December. 

Their explanation for not raiding it is that they did not have a warrant because AG was never physically seen there. 

Police now fear the remains of a young boy which were found on the compound this week may be his but they are yet to be formally identified. 

Photographs taken on the compound on Tuesday show what looks like a make-shift target practice range 

Photographs taken on the compound on Tuesday show what looks like a make-shift target practice range 

The compound is in the desert in New Mexico. It was put together with trailers and the children had been there for months 

The compound is in the desert in New Mexico. It was put together with trailers and the children had been there for months 

Neighbors have told how they heard shooting coming from within the compound over the last few months.  

One man who lives nearby says the 11 children initially showed up near his plot of land to play with his kids but that they stopped coming several weeks ago. 

Tyler Anderson, is a 41-year-old auto mechanic who lives near the site. 

He has told how the Wahhaj family arrived in the desert in December with enough money to buy groceries and construction tools to build their home. 

 We just figured they were doing what we were doing, getting a piece of land and getting off the grid
Neighbor Tyler Anderson  

Anderson helped them set up solar panels and the children in the Wahhaj family played with his at first but he started seeing them less and less. 

He was aware of a target practice area set up on the compound and said he often heard shots coming from the property but that it stopped recently. 

'We just figured they were doing what we were doing, getting a piece of land and getting off the grid,' he said. 

Lucas Morton, who is married to Subhanah Wahhaj, one of the sisters, owns the tract of land where the family was based and started building their compound. 

Subhanah Wahhaj, 35
Hujrah Wahhaj

Sisters Subhanah Wahhaj, 35, (left) and Hujrah Wahhaj, 38, (right) were arrested on Sunday 

Jany Leveille, who also goes by the name Maryam, was also arrested for child abuse on Sunday 
Lucas Morton

Jany Leveille, who also goes by the name Maryam, was also arrested for child abuse on Sunday. Wahhaj's brother-in-law, Lucas Morton, (right) was also taken in to custody 

11 children found in filthy trailer compound in New Mexico
The compound is near Amalia, in the desert of northern New Mexico, is close to the Colorado border

The compound is near Amalia, in the desert of northern New Mexico, is close to the Colorado border

The man who owns the patch next to it, however, says they started encroaching on his acreage as the compound grew bigger. 

He appealed to the courts to have them convicted for the breach but nothing was done. 

'I started to try and kick them off about three months ago and everything I tried to do kept getting knocked down,' he said on Tuesday.  

The children were aged between one and 15 and all are related. They were taken into government care on Friday after they were discovered. 

They had not eaten in days and were filthy. They escaped after a message from the inside, either written by them or one of their mothers, was intercepted by police. 

Another photgraph taken at the site on Tuesday as investigators continue working at the scene. Despite landowners' efforts to remove the family, they remained there for months 

Another photgraph taken at the site on Tuesday as investigators continue working at the scene. Despite landowners' efforts to remove the family, they remained there for months 

The conditions inside the compound were described by police as the worst they had seen in 30 years after they found the children on Friday. There was no running water or food and the children all had terrible personal hygiene 

The conditions inside the compound were described by police as the worst they had seen in 30 years after they found the children on Friday. There was no running water or food and the children all had terrible personal hygiene 

Three-year-old AG, who has  hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and requires daily medication, has been missing since December and was not found Friday. Remains found at the property are yet to be identified 

Three-year-old AG, who has  hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and requires daily medication, has been missing since December and was not found Friday. Remains found at the property are yet to be identified 

It said: 'We are starving and we need food and water.'  

The new details were shared on Wednesday as prosecutors pleaded with a judge not to grant Wahhaj bail. 

At present, he stands accused of child abduction and neglect.

Police are yet to file charges relating to the discovery of remains of a boy on the compound. 

They have also not yet confirmed whether the remains belong to Wahhaj's disabled three-year-old son AG who he vanished with in December. 

At a press conference on Tuesday, Taos County Sheriff Jeffrey Hogrefe fought back tears as he described the grim discovery. 

'We discovered the remains yesterday on Abdul's fourth birthday,' he said. 

The children's grandfather is Imam Siraj Wahhaj, the leader of the Muslim Alliance of North America and the leader of a mosque in Brooklyn, New York City 

The children's grandfather is Imam Siraj Wahhaj, the leader of the Muslim Alliance of North America and the leader of a mosque in Brooklyn, New York City 

Wahhaj, who is the son of a prominent New York City imam, reportedly planned to perform an exorcism on the toddler who he thought was 'possessed'. 

They went missing from Georgia, where the family lived, in December.

AG's mother has been pleading for his safe return ever since. 

Also arrested at the compound on Friday were the man's sisters, Hujrah and Subhanah Wahhaj, and his wife, Jany Leveille. 

All three women, who police described at first as being 'brainwashed and intimidated' by the man, were charged with child abuse on Sunday. 

Also charged was Lucas Morton, Subhanah's husband. He is charged with harboring a fugitive

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

This is the New Mexico compound where 11 children were found on Friday being held by their Muslim extremist father and uncle, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, along with their parents  

  • The 11 children were rescued from the compound in Alamia, New Mexico, Friday
  • They were being held by Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 39, and his brother-in-law Lucas Morton
  • Wahhaj is the son of a prolific imam from New York City and has been missing since December when he vanished with his three-year-old disabled son AG 
  • Some of the children at the compound are believed to belong to him and his  wife, Jany Leveille, who was also arrested 
  • AG, who is his son with another woman in Georgia, was not at the compound  
  • The other rescued children belong to his sisters, Hujrah and Subhanah Wahaj 
  • They were also found at the compound and have been charged with child abuse 
  • The charges against the five adults range from child abduction to child abuse and harboring a fugitive
  • None has been charged with any terror related offence but police described Wahhaj as 'extremist of the Muslim belief' 

Eleven children who were rescued from a compound in New Mexico on Friday where they were being held by their 'Muslim extremist' parents were discovered after a message was somehow sent to the outside pleading for help.

The children are aged between one and 15. Some are siblings and some are cousins. 

They had been held underground at a ramshackle compound in Alamia, New Mexico, for months. 

The FBI was monitoring the site for two months but never searched it because they did not have an arrest warrant, Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said on Monday. 

On Friday, however, the sheriff's office intercepted a message that was written either by one of the children or by one of their mothers which read: 'We are starving and we need food and water.'  

Authorities will not say how the message was delivered or who gave it to them but Sheriff Hogrefe said it meant he could not wait any longer for federal authorities to move in on the site. 

He enlisted a special forces team to lead the raid because he knew the men inside were heavily armed, he added.  

The children were being held there by 39-year-old Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, an imam's son from New York City who has been missing since December when he abducted his three-year-old special needs son from Georgia.   

It was this abduction which triggered the FBI investigation.  

On Friday, Wahhaj was found in the compound with an AR-15 rifle, five magazines loaded with 30 rounds and four loaded pistols.  

Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 39, had an AR-15 rifle, 150 rounds of ammunition and four loaded pistols at the site. He has been on the run since December when he vanished with his three-year-old disabled son from Georgia. The toddler was not found. 
Lucas Morton is married to one of the mothers found at the compound

Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 39, had an AR-15 rifle, 150 rounds of ammunition and four loaded pistols at the site. He has been on the run since December when he vanished with his three-year-old disabled son from Georgia. The toddler was not found. His brother-in-law Lucas Morton (right) was also charged with harboring a fugitive. He is married to Siraj's sister Subhanah 

Sisters Subhanah (left) and Hujrah Wahhaj were also arrested. They are the daughters of a New York City imam. At first, police said they were 'brainwashed' by their brother and Subhanah's husband Morton but the pair were later charged with child abuse along with their brother's wife Jany Leveille (not pictured) 

This is the New Mexico compound where 11 children were found on Friday being held by their Muslim extremist father and uncle, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, along with their parents  

This is the New Mexico compound where 11 children were found on Friday being held by their Muslim extremist father and uncle, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, along with their parents  

Also on the compound was his brother-in-law, Lucas Morton and three women; Subhanah Wahhaj, 35, Hujrah Wahhaj, 38, and Jany Leveille, 35, who is also known as Maryam. 

Sunbhanah and Hujrah are Siraj's sisters and Jany is his wife. She worked for his father, Imam Siraj Wahhaj, at the Masjid At-Taqwa mosque in Brooklyn before relocating with her husband to Georgia in  2014. She is not AG's mother.  

All three women were charged with child abuse on Sunday after initially being released by police who said they were 'brainwashed and intimidated' by the men.   

Siraj's three-year-old son AG, who has  hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and requires daily medication, has been missing since December and was not at the compound

Siraj's three-year-old son AG, who has  hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and requires daily medication, has been missing since December and was not at the compound

Not found was Wahhaj's three-year-old son AG who cannot walk or talk due to hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, a condition caused by brain damage. 

When police closed in on the property on Friday, his father initially refused to follow orders. 

Police worried that the raid would end violently because of the fact he was so heavily armed. 

'We had learned the occupants were most likely heavily armed and considered extremist of the Muslim belief.

'We also knew from the layout of the compound they would have an advantage if we didn’t deploy tactfully and quickly,' Sheriff Hogrefe of the Taos County Sheriff Department said in a statement. 

The children had been at the site for months without food and were so skinny their ribs were showing. 

The only food found on the compound was a box of rice and some potatoes.

Sheriff Hogrefe described the conditions as the saddest he had ever seen in 30 years of police work.

'We all gave the kids our water and what snacks we had – it was the saddest living conditions and poverty I have seen,' he said, adding that the children looked like 'third world refugees.' 

The conditions inside the compound were described by police as the worst they had seen in 30 years

The conditions inside the compound were described by police as the worst they had seen in 30 years

There was no food at the compound and the children had terrible personal hygiene, police said 

There was no food at the compound and the children had terrible personal hygiene, police said 

Amalia is 145 miles northeast of Albuquerque and in an isolated high-desert area near the New Mexico-Colorado border

Amalia is 145 miles northeast of Albuquerque and in an isolated high-desert area near the New Mexico-Colorado border

'I've been a cop for 30 years. I've never seen anything like this. Unbelievable. 

'They were skinny, their ribs showed, they were in very poor hygiene and very scared. 

'They had 'no shoes, personal hygiene and basically dirty rags for clothing,' he told ABC.  

Siraj Wahhaj has been on the run since December when he vanished with AG after telling his mother he was taking him to the park. 

AG's mother Hakima Ramzi has made desperate social media appeals to find her son again. 

Her friends have also set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for the search. 

The family has been missing since January when their father, Imam Siraj Wahhaj, appealed for information about them on Facebook 

The family has been missing since January when their father, Imam Siraj Wahhaj, appealed for information about them on Facebook 

The children's grandfather is Imam Siraj Wahhaj, the leader of the Muslim Alliance of North America and the leader of a mosque in Brooklyn, New York City 

The children's grandfather is Imam Siraj Wahhaj, the leader of the Muslim Alliance of North America and the leader of a mosque in Brooklyn, New York City 

The toddler suffers from seizures, developmental delay, wears braces on his legs, cannot walk, and requires daily medication. 

His parents were married for 15 years until he vanished in December. 

In a Facebook plea for information about her son and husband's whereabouts, Ramzi appealed directly to Subhannah, one of the three mothers found on the compound. 

She said: 'It's not about you. 

AG's mother Hakima Ramzi was married to his father without incident for 15 years, she said. She has been pleading for AG's return since December and is seen above in a Facebook video appealing for help to find them 

AG's mother Hakima Ramzi was married to his father without incident for 15 years, she said. She has been pleading for AG's return since December and is seen above in a Facebook video appealing for help to find them 

'This is all about my son. He needs his medication. My worry is not about Subhannah and her kids. My worry is about my son because he is sick. 

'He needs his medication, he needs everything. I don't know if he is alive. Please, please, please, I need your help.    

'I need my son back to me and then I will leave you alone,' she said.  

Wahhaj is the son of Imam Surraj Wahhaj, 68, who belongs to the Masjid At Taqwa mosque in Brooklyn, New York.

The earliest record of him in the United States dates back to 1983. 

It is not clear where he lived beforehand or if he was born in the US. 

In January, his father pleaded for information about their whereabouts.

'Dear Brothers and Sisters, please make duas for the safe return of our children and grandchildren: Siraj, Hujrah, Subhanah Wahhaj, son in law Luqman (Lucas) Morton, and daughter in law Maryam (Jany) Leveille and their children (our 12 grandchildren). 

'We believe they may be traveling together,' he said in a Facebook post. 

He has not commented on his children's arrest.  Imam Wahhaj is the leader of The Muslim Alliance in North America.  

Police are still looking for three-year-old AG.  

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Comment by JoocyNJerzee on August 13, 2018 at 5:17pm
why they had to be black in the middle of an all white area/// stupid ass mofos/// the sistahs should have known better /// I googled this story, s*** like this makes it bad for blacks and DECENT MUSLIMS
Comment by vaughn mitchell on August 10, 2018 at 10:17am
Dumb ass n******, training kids to kill kids, bunch of cowards. Give them life. Fake Muslims.
Comment by Yasmin on August 9, 2018 at 3:37pm
This sound lime some bullshit but if its true put them under the jail and do the same as they did to those children

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