New Mexico compound suspects were training for school shootings, court documents say

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

All five of the defendants in the New Mexico child abuse case were under investigation based upon “the training of children with weapons in furtherance of a conspiracy to commit school shootings,” according to criminal complaints filed in district court on Wednesday.

If the defendants were to “be released from custody, there is a substantial likelihood defendants may commit new crimes due to their planning and preparation for future school shootings,” according to the new filing.

The criminal complaints come in the wake of the discovery that 11 starving children had been living in a filthy compound in Amalia, New Mexico, that lacked electricity or plumbing.

An aerial view of the compound.

The compound, which included a partially-buried camper trailer, was littered with hazards and lacked electricity, sewage disposal and plumbing.

Officials say the children were wearing rags, had no shoes and likely hadn’t eaten in days.

According to an affidavit, on the 10-acre parcel, investigators spotted what appeared “to be a shooting range along the west side of the property.”

It’s not clear how long the 11 children and five adults were living in these squalid conditions.

Authorities raided the compound on Friday as part of their search for Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj, a child with severe medical problems who was allegedly abducted from Georgia by his father, Siraj Wahhaj, about nine months ago.

A boy’s remains were found at the compound on Monday, police said, although it is not yet clear if the remains are those of 4-year-old Abdul-Ghani.

Five adults — including Siraj Wahhaj, another man and three women who are thought to be the children’s mothers — each face 11 charges of child abuse related to the neglect and abuse of the children.

None of the defendants has been formally charged. All five defendants are to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon in Taos, New Mexico.

Defendant Lucas Morten is represented by two public defenders. CNN is reaching out for comment. The other four defendants are awaiting representation.

Trademark and Copyright 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Latest News

More News

National News

More National

Washington D.C.

More Washington DC

Your Local Election HQ

More Your Local Election HQ

Latest News

More News


KFOR Podcasts

More Podcasts

Follow @KFOR on Twitter