1 Dead, Suspects Training Children for School Shootings (Learn More, Video)

Lucas Morten (at left), and Siraj Wahhaj are two of the five arrested. (Courtesy of the Taos County Sheriff's Office)
Lucas Morten (at left), and Siraj Wahhaj are two of the five arrested. (Courtesy of the Taos County Sheriff's Office)

By Eric Levenson, Scott McLean and Sara Weisfeldt, CNN

If the defendants were to “be released from custody, there is a substantial likelihood defendant may commit new crimes due to his planning and preparation for future school shootings,” the court documents said.

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The filings did not provide further details about the alleged training.

The makeshift compound appeared to have a shooting range on the property and loaded firearms were found on the property, authorities said.

A foster parent of one of the children also said, “The defendant had trained the child in the use of an assault rifle in preparation for future school shootings,” according to the court filings.

(Prosecutors have revealed new information about a remote New Mexico compound where children allegedly were found with no clean food, water, or electricity. One of the five adults accused of child abuse allegedly trained children to carry out school shootings. Courtesy of CBS This Morning and YouTube. Posted on Aug 9, 2018.)

Allegations against the suspects 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.

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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 whether the remains are those of 4-year-old Abdul-Ghani.

The five defendants — Wahhaj; his sisters, Hujrah Wahhaj and Subhannah Wahhaj, who are thought to be the children’s mothers; Lucas Morten and Jany Leveille — were each arraigned Wednesday in a Taos, New Mexico, courtroom on 11 counts of child abuse related to the neglect and abuse of the children.

The five, who pleaded not guilty, have a pretrial detention hearing set for Monday, according to Aleksandar Kostich, a state public defender.

(Eleven children between ages 1 and 15 were found in a makeshift compound in rural New Mexico living in squalid conditions. In court filings, the district attorney said some of the children were being trained with assault rifles “in preparation for future school shootings.” Five adults living in the compound have been arrested and charged with multiple counts of child abuse. Courtesy of TODAY and YouTube. Posted on Aug 9, 2018.)

Family members of the suspects said they didn’t know anything of the alleged training for school shootings.

Wahhaj’s father, Imam Siraj Wahhaj, a controversial New York imam, said he has “no knowledge” of the alleged training, said spokesman Imam Al-Hajj Talib Abdur-Rashid.

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The imam was the first Muslim to offer an opening prayer before the US House of Representatives, the Muslim Alliance in North America said.

He was also a character witness for convicted 1993 World Trade Center bombing mastermind Omar Abdel-Rahman.

Shariyf Muhammad, attorney for Abdul-Ghani’s mother, Hakima Ramzi, said she “has no knowledge of any training for school shootings.”

Courtesy of YouTube

Ramzi has not been charged in the case. She reported her son missing to Clayton County, Georgia, authorities in December after the younger Wahhaj took their son to the park and never returned, according to a police report.

Police initially didn’t file a child abduction report because Wahhaj and Ramzi were married; she filed for divorce in December, Clayton County court documents show.

But a juvenile court judge in January issued an arrest warrant for Wahhaj for failing to let Ramzi know where he’d taken their son.

CNN’s Hollie Silverman, Samira Said and Darran Simon contributed to this report.