Father Convicted of Terrorism After 3-Year-Old's Remains Found in New Mexico Compound
In a recent verdict, a father, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, has been found guilty of terrorism charges. This follows the discovery of the remains of his 3-year-old son in an underground tunnel at a makeshift compound located in New Mexico back in 2018.
Wahhaj and his family had relocated to a remote desert area in New Mexico, leaving Georgia behind. Their intention was to undergo firearms and tactical training, preparing for potential attacks against the government, as stated by prosecutors during the trial.
After weeks of testimony from children who had resided at the compound with their parents, the jury deliberated for 2½ days. The defendants, who are of the Muslim faith, claimed that federal authorities targeted them because of their religious beliefs.
Wahhaj's brother-in-law was also convicted on terrorism charges, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and kidnapping, which ultimately resulted in the tragic death of the young boy. Wahhaj's sisters were found guilty of kidnapping charges as well.
The five suspects were apprehended by authorities following a raid on August 3, 2018, after a months-long investigation into the disappearance of 3-year-old Abdul-ghani Wahhaj, who had severe medical issues. The child had gone missing from Georgia in December.
The remains of the boy, badly decomposed, were eventually discovered in an underground tunnel on the outskirts of Amalia, near the Colorado state line. The exact cause of his death could not be determined.
During the trial, Wahhaj chose to represent himself and claimed that the government had portrayed him as a monster. He described his family as close-knit and stated that they were trying to protect his son from evil spirits, using a ritual known as ruqyah, which involves reciting passages from the Quran.
Wahhaj and his family appeared to believe that their son would be resurrected as Jesus Christ and provide guidance.
A sentencing date for the convicted individuals is yet to be scheduled.
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