Evidence of child abuse at New Mexico compound under review

Elias Hubbard
August 14, 2018

The allegations came during a hearing of three women and two men arrested on charges of child abuse after authorities raided their derelict property on August 3.

"If these people were white and Christian, nobody would bat an eye over the idea of faith healing, or praying over a body or touching a body and quoting scripture", defense lawyer Thomas Clark told reporters after the hearing.

His father, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, is one of the five adults arrested at the compound on child abuse charges.

Two men and three women were scheduled to appear in New Mexico state district court Monday on accusations of child abuse. Three are the adult children of a prominent New York City Muslim cleric who is himself the biological grandfather of nine of the children involved. "But when black Muslims do it, there seems to be something nefarious, something evil".

At the bond hearing for Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and four others, prosecutors presented a disturbing update about his son, 3-year-old Abdul Ghani, whose body was found buried on an apocalyptic-looking compound authorities raided last week. Eleven other children were found at the compound during a raid last week.

Prosecutors also talked about the remains of a young boy that were found in a tunnel that had been dug under the compound.

The 3-year-old's body was uncovered three days after the initial raid. In interviews with law enforcement after the raid, the children shared information about his apparent death, Lovelace said in court.

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". However, the government said there was more to it than that.

Federal Bureau of Investigation Travis Taylor testified that a 15-year-old youth recounted one of the adults telling him that the spirit of the dead three-year-old would return "as Jesus" to direct the group in carrying out violent attacks.

Describing what some children had told investigators about the boy's death, prosecutor John Lovelace told the court, "It was a religious ritual carried out on Abdul-Ghani, a ritual meant to cast out demonic spirits".

On Monday, during a court hearing, prosecutors said the remains belonged to Abdul-Ghani and that the other children said the boy had died during a "religious ritual".

An attorney for Siraj Wahhaj said he has seen no evidence to support an allegation that his client's children were being trained on a New Mexico compound to carry out school shootings. Aside from some rifles, handguns and ammunition, authorities say they found books on being effective in combat and building untraceable weapons.

According to Lovelace, Wahhaj told police at the time that he had the guns because he worked for an executive security business and that he was going on a camping trip in New Mexico.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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