Nothing is quite as traumatic as hearing about innocent children being neglected, abused, or exploited. That’s exactly what makes sharing this update with all of you so hard for our writers here at United Voice.
Authorities in Amalia, New Mexico, have removed 11 children ranging in age from just 5 to as old as 15 from what they believe was a clandestine and extremely dilapidated extremist Muslim compound run by 39-year-old Siraj Ibn Wahhaj.
• Local police forces were alerted to the compound after an unknown source phoned in a tip stating that people were “starving to death” inside. Upon arrival, they found Wahhaj waiting for them with an “AR-15 rifle, five loaded 30-round magazines, and four loaded pistols, including one in his pocket.”
• Authorities were also able to visually confirm that the children were painfully thin, dressed in little more than rags, and “looked like Third World country refugees.” At least one of the officers stated that the compound was the worst and filthiest surroundings he had ever witnessed in his life.
• The children, who have since been taken in by child welfare, are said to be unhealthy and traumatized. At least one appears to be suffering from severe seizures, an inability to walk, and some kind of neurological functioning issue. Wahhaj had been in the process of attempting an “exorcism” because he believed the health issues were caused by an evil spirit.
• All of the other children appeared to be obviously malnourished, dehydrated, and neglected to the point of near starvation. Officers found little to no evidence of a localized, reliable food source at the compound indoors or out.
• Police also have evidence that Wahhaj and his wife may have been training the children as future school shooters and suicide bombers. This includes weapons training and indoctrination against American ideals.
• At the time police arrived, Wahhaj had a warrant out for his arrest for failing to appear on prior charges of kidnapping over the disappearance of his 4-year-old son Abdul-Ghani. He is now being held on both his original Georgia warrant and charge as well as new charges for neglect and abuse.
• Tragically, Wahhaj’s missing 4-year-old son was not found at the compound; instead, investigators located the remains of a small boy. It isn’t yet clear whether the remains found on the side are in fact the remains of Abdul-Ghani or another child belonging to one of the wives or close family members.
• As if the abuse of innocent little ones wasn’t enough, here’s another reason to be afraid. Authorities have identified that Wahhaj is the son of Imam Siraj Wahhaj, a New York City imam linked to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The older of the two Wahhaj men was never convicted.
• All of the children taken into custody at the time of the arrests will remain in the care of protective custody with the state. Details on their health, well-being, and location aren’t being released to protect them from the press and the potential for another kidnapping.