An Islamic extremist was training as many as eleven children to commit school shootings at a dilapidated compound in New Mexico, according to court documents filed by government prosecutors Wednesday.
Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, the son of a suspected co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombings, was training the children to use assault rifles before his compound was raided by authorities on Friday, CBS News reports.
“He poses a great danger to the children found on the property as well as a threat to the community as a whole due to the presence of firearms and his intent to use these firearms in a violent and illegal manner,” prosecutor Timothy Hasson wrote in justifying his request that Wahhaj be held with out bail ahead of his trial. A judge complied with the request, though prosecutors did not mention the school shooting plot in court; that information was provided in court filings by one of the victimized children’s foster mothers.
The adults present at the compound were “considered extremist of the Muslim belief,” according to Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe.
Wahhaj’s public defender disputed the school shooting claim, arguing it was based on little information.
39-year-old Wahhaj is additionally accused of kidnapping his 4-year-old son from his mother in Georgia. Authorities are still unaware whether unidentified human remains found on Wahhaj’s property may be the missing boy.
In his arrest warrant, authorities allege Wahhaj told the boy’s mother he intended to perform an exorcism on the boy and never returned after asking to take him to a park.
A two month search for the missing boy resulted in the raid on Wahhaj’s New Mexico training compound, which was reportedly first occupied in November. Authorities were led to the compound after an unidentified third party received a note that read, “We are starving and need food and water.”
Hogrefe called the compound “the saddest living conditions and poverty” he’s encountered in the course of his career.