The three mothers of the 11 malnourished children found living in a filthy New Mexico compound were arrested and charged Sunday along with two men described as armed Muslim “extremists” after authorities raided the property in search of a 4-year-old boy.
Taos County Sheriff’s Office
More recently, investigators with the Clayton County Police Department and the FBI began narrowing in on their whereabouts and determined Wahhaj was staying at an improvised compound in Amalia, near the Colorado border.
Taos Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said they believe the group made the compound – huts and trailers surrounded by tires and an earthen berm in the sparsely populated Costilla Meadows subdivision – and had been living there for some time.
The FBI had been surveilling the location, Hogrefe said, but did not believe they had enough probable cause to go onto the property.
But then, someone inside the compound was able to get a note to the outside world.
“The message sent to a third party simply said in part, ‘We are starving and need food and water.”
The FBI investigation revealed the residents of the compound were most likely heavily armed and considered extremist of the Muslim belief. They believed that they needed to act quickly and needed to make sure they used the right tactics as the compound was designed to give the residents the advantage.
“We did an extensive search for the missing child, our primary target. We certainly didn’t want to leave that place and leave a child behind and I’m confident we did not. The child in question was not located at the compound. The only food we saw were a few potatoes and a box of rice in the filthy trailer, But what was most surprising, and heartbreaking was when the team located a total of five adults and 11 children that looked like third world country refugees not only with no food or fresh water, but with no shoes, personal hygiene and basically dirty rags for clothing.
When the teams arrived, Wahhaj and Morton refused to comply with demands and we could see that Wahhaj was armed with an “AR-15 rifle, five loaded 30-round magazines, and four loaded pistols, including one in his pocket when he was taken down. More rounds of ammo were found in a trailer buried in the ground. We didn’t have to go hands-on and no one got hurt, He was heavily armed but so were my guys, and my guys train for that stuff.” ~ Sheriff Hogrefe
He said the women refused to answer questions but have not been charged with any crimes.
Siraj Wahhaj, 40, the man suspected of abducting his son, is being held in the Taos County Adult Detention Center without bond on a warrant out of Georgia. Another man who was living at the compound, Lucas Morton of Atlanta, is charged with harboring a fugitive and is also behind bars, Albuquerque Journal News reports.
Mainstream media has gone away from reporting on Islam and their compounds in the United States even though they continue to grow in numbers. According to the FBI:
The organization says it has a network of 22 “villages” around the U.S., with Islamberg as its main headquarters in New York. TheClarion Project obtained secret MOA footage showing female members receiving paramilitary training at Islamberg. It was featured on the Kelly File on FOX News Channel in October. A second MOA tape released by Clarion shows its spokesman declaring the U.S. to be a Muslim-majority country.
A 2007 FBI record states that MOA members have been involved in at least 10 murders, one disappearance, three firebombings, one attempted firebombing, two explosive bombings and one attempted bombing. It states:
“The documented propensity for violence by this organization supports the belief the leadership of the MOA extols membership to pursue a policy of jihad or holy war against individuals or groups it considers enemies of Islam, which includes the U.S. Government. Members of the MOA are encouraged to travel to Pakistan to receive religious and military/terrorist training from Sheikh Gilani.”
The document also says that, “The MOA is now an autonomous organization which possesses an infrastructure capable of planning and mounting terrorist campaigns overseas and within the U.S.” ~Clarion Project
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.