Man arrested at New Mexico compound was allegedly training child - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Man arrested at New Mexico compound was allegedly training child to commit school shootings

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A man arrested at a makeshift compound in New Mexico where 11 children and the remains of a boy were found was training one of the children to commit school shootings, court documents alleged Wednesday.

Documents filed in 8th District Court in Taos County quoted the foster parent of one of the 11 children as having told investigators that Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, the father of a missing Georgia boy, was conducting weapons training at the squalid compound in the northern part of the state.

Wahhaj "had trained the [foster parent's] child in the use of an assault rifle in preparation for future school shootings," according to the document, which argues that Wahhaj should be held without bond. He entered no plea during an initial hearing Wednesday, and a bond hearing is pending.

The allegation was first reported by The Associated Press.

Authorities discovered the compound in Amalia on Friday during a search for Wahhaj's son, a 3-year-old who went missing eight months ago in Jonesboro, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. Wahhaj was the prime suspect.

Once there, they came across Wahhaj, four other adults and 11 hungry children ages 1 to 15. But they didn't find his son.

When investigators returned to the property on Monday, they found remains of a boy. A positive identification is still pending, but officials believe they are those of Wahhaj's son, Abdul-ghani. The child's fourth birthday was the same day the remains were discovered.

Authorities said that Wahhaj had multiple firearms, including an assault rifle, and that they believed a shooting range was on the property.

They arrested the adults and charged them with 11 counts of child abuse. Wahhaj was also charged with interfering with a parent's custodial rights. The death of the unidentified boy remains under investigation and wasn't included in the charges.

Siraj Wahhaj in a sheriff's photo released Friday.Taos County Sheriff's Office / AP

The allegation in court documents that Wahhaj was training a child to commit school shootings is another bizarre twist in the case. Wahhaj is accused of having left Georgia in December with Abdul-ghani; the boy's mother told police that Wahhaj wanted to perform an exorcism on him because he thought the boy was possessed by the devil. He took the boy to a park but never returned, the woman said, according to an extradition warrant.

 Abdul-ghani struggled with seizures and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, a birth defect caused by lack of oxygen and blood flow, and he couldn't walk, the warrant said.



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