Theis the son of a controversial Brooklyn imam who was on a list of people who “may be alleged as co-conspirators” to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, according to court documents released by prosecutors Wednesday. Siraj Wahhaj, who shares a name with his son who was arrested Saturday, testified as a character witness for Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the notorious “blind sheikh” who was convicted in 1995 of plotting terror attacks in the U.S.
Authorities found 11 children and four adults living in “filthy” conditions at the compound Saturday in Amalia, New Mexico. Prosecutors also alleged in court documents that Wahhaj, 39, was teaching the children to commit school shootings. The documents claim Wahhaj was conducting weapons training with assault rifles at the compound with the children.
Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe previously said adults at the compound were “considered extremist of the Muslim belief.” He did not elaborate, saying it was part of the investigation.
The elder Wahhaj heads Masjid At-Taqwa mosque in Brooklyn, New York, which has attracted radical speakers over the years.
Authorities were searching the compound in search of the younger Siraj Wahhaj’s 4-year-old son, Abdul-ghani, who is severely disabled and disappeared from Georgia in December. He is accused of kidnapping the boy.
Police said Tuesdayon a remote part of the compound, but officials are waiting for positive identification. Wahhaj and the other adults on the compound have been charged with child abuse.