The father of a missing Georgia boy is facing charges of child abuse for running a compound in New Mexico training children to carry out school shootings.
Prosecutors filed documents alleging Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and four other adults ran a camp in the desert where hungry children were undergoing weapons training, the Associated Press reports. The children, whose ages range from one to 15 years old, were found in extreme squalor Friday when police arrested Wahhaj and his relatives Lucas Allen Morton, Jany Leveille, Hujrah Wahhaj and Subhannah Wahhaj.
The defendants will be facing hearings soon to determine whether they will remain held without bond in jail.
Wahhaj is facing extradition to Georgia for a kidnapping case involving his son, Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj, who is still missing and would have turned 4 years old Monday. Officials said they are working to identify the remains of a boy found at the compound.
Georgia officials had wanted Wahhaj since December when he had taken the boy away in order to perform an “exorcism,” the boy’s mother Hakima Ramzi told police at the time. Ramzi later said Wahhaj was planning to conduct a ruqya (a form of Muslim prayer) for the boy, not perform an exorcism.
The boy has suffered from brain problems associated with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. He has been prescribed medication, and Ramzi did not know whether Wahhaj had any medication with him when he took the boy.
Law-enforcement officials found the compound in Taos County just south of the Colorado border after a two-month investigation.