Suspect at 'Filthy' New Mexico Compound Was Training Kids to Commit School Shootings: Prosecutors

Siraj Ibn Wahhaj has been charged with 11 counts of felony child abuse.
Siraj Ibn Wahhaj has been charged with 11 felony counts of child abuse. Handout/CBS

The fugitive father of a missing 3-year-old boy was training children at a filthy New Mexico compound to commit school shootings, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Siraj Ibn Wahhaj allegedly showed kids how to use an assault rifle in "preparation for future school shootings," according to a court document filed by the district attorney's office of the Eighth Judicial District. 

Eleven children wearing dirty rags were discovered Friday by authorities who raided the isolated outpost. Ranging in age from 1 to 15, the kids had not eaten in days, had no water and were living in squalor. Wahhaj was one of two adult men at the barren enclave. They were arrested along with three women believed to be the children's mothers.

Prosecutor Timothy Hasson filed the document asking that Wahhaj be held without bail because he was a danger to others. Law enforcement officers found a cache of loaded weapons, including the assault rifle, and dangerous conditions that included boards with nails sticking up all over the property, open trenches, and the absence of running water and electricity, the document said.

Wahhaj was also wanted by Georgia authorities for allegedly kidnapping his 3-year-old son. The remains of a small child were found "in a state of decomposition on the property," according to the filing. An autopsy is being conducted to determine if the body is Wahhaj's son.

The father had said he wanted to perform an exorcism on the boy, who had a host of medical problems, authorities said. 

The raid was carried out after authorities received word from inside the compound that children were starving and had no water. The source of the communication was not publicly revealed.

Jason Badger, who owns the property where the haphazard compound was erected, said he and his wife had complained to the Taos County Sheriff's Department about the group, saying they were concerned about the children and their squalid living conditions, CBS News reported.

Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe appeared overcome during a Tuesday evening press conference in which he announced the remains of a small child had been found at the site. He said officials had no probable cause to obtain a search warrant before they were informed last week about the children having no food or water.

The desolate area near the Colorado border is known as spot for people trying to live off the grid. After Badger saw what had been built on his property — which mostly consisted of trash heaps, stacked car tires and slabs of plywood, he tried to get the adults to pack up and go.

"I started to try and kick them off about three months ago and everything I tried to do kept getting knocked down," said Badger said.

An eviction notice filed by Banger was dismissed by a local judge, the network said. 

The group arrived in December, according to other residents. The children have been placed in protective custody.

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