Remains at New Mexico compound are missing boy, says grandfather

Lester Mason
August 13, 2018

An aerial view of a compound where 11 children were taken into protective custody after a raid by authorities near New Mexico. Authorities are waiting to learn if the remains belong to a boy that went missing from Georgia in December. It was actually pleas for food for the imam from family members that led to authorities finding the compound.

The owner of the New Mexico property raided by authorities last week said he had notified police about seeing a child that appeared to be the Georgia toddler who had gone missing a year ago, NBC News reported, raising questions about why it took so long for authorities to raid the compound and discover the appalling conditions.

He said he immediately called authorities in Clayton County, Georgia, the Missing and Exploited Children hotline, New Mexico state troopers, and the Tao County Sheriffs Office.

Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe of Taos County said in a statement the children had been at the site for months without food and were so skinny their ribs were showing.

The boy, Abdul-ghani Wahhaj, would have turned four on Monday. Prosecutors said he was snatched from his mother in December in Jonesboro, Georgia, near Atlanta.

A representative of a NY mosque says the raid of a ramshackle compound in New Mexico is being used as propaganda against Muslims.

The imam said the 11 children found at the compound Friday were either his biological grandchildren or members of his family through marriage.

"If this child was still alive at that point in time - end of April, beginning of May, when they were notified - then somebody needs to be held accountable", he said.

In an interview with WSB-TV in Atlanta, the boy's mother also called for "justice" as she described how her life had been taken from her after her son was abducted by his father. I'm grateful to you Imam Siraj, God bless you and protect you for a long time because we need you now more than ever.

"I wasn't able to save my son", she said.

Eleven children between ages 1 and 15 were found in a makeshift compound in rural New Mexico living in squalid conditions.

A Georgia arrest warrant accused him of kidnapping his child. Four other adults were also arrested on child abuse charges.

A New York City imam linked to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing steered police to the decrepit New Mexico compound where his son was allegedly training school shooters, he told reporters Thursday.

"It sounds to me it sounds insane".

Wienman and Al-Hayy don't know what really happened at the compound, but they said it's customary for fellow Muslims to care for one another.

In a video posted Thursday on Facebook, Siraj Wahhaj of the At-Taqwa mosque insisted it amounted to a domestic situation that has nothing to do with Islam. Badger told USA Today that he had not seen the condition of the group's living quarters before the raid.

He said his family has been cooperating with law enforcement since his son disappeared with his grandson. But he said his son's behavior could be "extreme" and described him as high-strung, the kind of person who became angry when stopped at the airport by immigration officers, he said. But he knew nothing about plans for an exorcism, he said. But he said his son and one of his daughters had become "overly concerned" with the idea of people becoming possessed.

The New Mexico search warrant used to enter the property said investigators had reason to believe Wahhaj planned an exorcism and was denying Abdul-Ghani his medication.

However, "to do something as extreme as this doesn't make sense", he said.

Taos-area District Attorney Donald Gallegos said he will await the findings on how the boy died.

Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said the Federal Bureau of Investigation put the place under surveillance in recent months that included photographs of the compound and interviews.

He said the images were shared with the mother of Abdul-ghani, but she did not spot her son, and the photographs never indicated the father was at the compound, leaving the sheriff without the information he needed to obtain a search warrant.

That changed when a note was forwarded to Georgia authorities saying children inside the compound were starving, Hogrefe said.

"We have been meeting with law enforcement since day one", Wahhaj said.

The father of three adults arrested at a compound where kids reportedly learned how to shoot up schools says he led cops to the site.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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