US suspect was ‘training children to commit school shootings’


A man arrested after 11 malnourished children were found in a remote desert compound was training them to commit school shootings, US media report.

According to prosecutors’ documents, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj was teaching some of the children, who are aged one to 15, how to use weapons.

Mr Wahhaj was one of two armed men at the scene in the US state of New Mexico. Three women were also arrested.

Police say the remains of a boy were also discovered at the compound.

The remains, which were found on Monday, have not yet been identified.
Image copyright Taos County Sheriff’s Office
Image caption The compound had no running water and children were living in squalid conditions.

Prosecutor Timothy Hasson filed the documents on Wednesday, but did not discuss the accusations in court, the Associated Press reported.

Mr Hasson requested that Mr Wahhaj be held without bail.

All five adults arrested at the compound last week face child abuse charges.

Mr Wahhaj is also wanted on suspicion of abducting his three-year-old son, but the boy was not among the group found at the compound, US media report. It was the search for the boy that led to the arrests.

Lucas Morton was the other man arrested at the scene.j

Three women, believed to be the children’s mothers, were also “arrested without incident” and booked in the Taos Adult Detention Center, according to the sheriff’s office.

Police have not explained what connection the women – named as Jany Leveille, 35, Hujrah Wahhaj, 38, and Subhannah Wahhaj, 35, – have to each other.

The officers who discovered the children said they looked “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”.

Authorities had raided the site after receiving a message from someone that read: “We are starving and need food and water.”

Police said they had been aware of the compound for some time but had to wait for a search warrant before entering, as the occupants were “most likely heavily armed and considered extremist of the Muslim belief”.

Mr Wahhaj was armed with an AR-15 rifle and four pistols when they encountered him, they said.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.