The man arrested at a New Mexico compound is the son of an imam with possible links to the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York in 1993, according to CBS News.
Brooklyn-based Siraj Wahhaj (below) was on a list of people who ‘may be alleged as co-conspirators’, according to court documents released by prosecutors this week, the US broadcaster’s website reported.
The 68-year-old was never charged and denies any involvement in the bombing.
Wahhaj’s son, who has the same name, was arrested on Saturday after 11 children and four adults were found living in squalid conditions at the compound in Amalia.
Authorities were searching for the younger Wahhaj’s four-year-old son, Abdul-ghani, who is severely disabled. He disappeared from Georgia in December and Wahhaj is accused of kidnapping him.
According to a Georgia arrest warrant, Wahhaj, 39, told his son’s mother he wanted to perform an exorcism on the child because he believed he was possessed by the devil. He later said he was taking the child to a park and did not return.
The boy cannot walk and requires constant attention, his mother told police. Police said on Tuesday they had found human remains on a remote part of the compound, but officials are waiting for positive identification.
Wahhaj and four adults on the compound have been charged with child abuse. A court in Taos, New Mexico, ordered on Wednesday that all five be held without bail.
Prosecutor Timothy Hasson said: ‘Wahhaj poses a great danger to the children found on the property as well as a threat to the community as a whole due to the presence of firearms and his intent to use these firearms in a violent and illegal manner.’
A local sheriff said he found ‘the saddest living conditions and poverty’ in 30 years at the compond.