Inside the Muslim extremists’ New Mexico compound: Eleven starving children were forced to share a tiny trailer among piles of trash and guns as it’s revealed family was digging a tunnel when they were arrested
- The compound was made up of a combination of trailers and tarp tents held up with pieces of wood
- Pictures show filthy conditions with broken commodes, little furniture and dusty toys scattered around the site strewn with trash
- Police did not take as much evidence as was expected after their raid last Friday
- The AR-15 rifle, four pistols and ammunition that Wahhaj was found with was left behind
- Wahhaj’s passport, GoPros, a laptop, two cellphones and a video camera were also found by property owner Jason Badger after he said the cops had left
- Authorities are being tight lipped on why they took so long to raid the compound
- It was under surveillance as part of the search for missing child AG Wahhaj
- Now, they say they were confined by the limits of their search warrant and state law which means they can only take evidence that is in plain sight
The inside of the New Mexico compound where a Muslim extremist was keeping 11 children has been revealed for the first time since his arrest last Friday.
Filthy scenes from inside the ramshackle site, near Amalia, showed trailers covered in clear tarp and what appears to be a collection of tents, held up shakily by plywood pillars, from above.
Underneath it and inside the few trailers there are piles of trash, dusty furniture and discarded toys.
One of the makeshift rooms had a queen sized bed, presumably for two of the adults to sleep on, while the trailer which housed the children was built almost underground.
The family had also begun digging a tunnel into the desert ground but it is not clear what they planned to use it for.
The site was explored by Today on Friday once police had finished gathering evidence.
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Shovels remain in a hole which was being dug to access the tunnel at the New Mexico compound where 11 starving children and five adults were found on Friday
The tunnel appears to go under the trailer and is surrounded by tires
The back of a moving truck served as sleeping quarters at a squalid makeshift living compound
Various items litter the filthy kitchen at the compound near Amalia in New Mexico
Boxes of ammunition is left behind at a squalid compound
A makeshift toilet and bottles of bleach are seen in this improvised bathroom at the compound
A black gun holster hangs next to a filthy child’s dress in this photo taken on Friday August 10
An exit tunnel is seen at the compound. The family had begun digging a tunnel into the desert ground
Clothes, a travel pillow and other items lay strewn across a filthy bed
Copies of the Quran are seen on a bale of hay at the compound near Amalia in New Mexico
This is one of the disorganized rooms in a trailer at the New Mexico compound where a Muslim extremist was found with 11 starving children, his wife, two sisters and his brother-in-law last Friday
The family had started digging a tunnel into the desert ground at the site but it is not known what they planned to use it for
The pistols Siraj Wahhaj was allegedly using to teach the children to carry out school shootings with were left behind by police at the compound
Wahhaj’s AR-15 with rounds of ammunition next to it is pictured. Police did not recover it, they said, because they had to follow state law which prohibits gathering evidence unless it is in plain sight. They were also limited by their search warrant, they said
It is difficult to grasp the layout of the compound because the rooms or areas where the family spent most of their time are all covered by clear tarp. They enclosed the site with tires
Shockingly, the AR-15 rifle and four pistols which Siraj Wahhaj had on him when county sheriffs finally stormed the compound last Friday have been left behind.
Also there is a video camera, two cell phones, a laptop and a GoPro camera which were found by neighboring land owner Jason Badger.
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He also found Wahhaj’s passport which he said shows he had been to Saudi Arabia at some stage.
Authorities have not removed as much evidence as might have been expected because they are confined to the restrictions of their search warrant which, in accordance with New Mexico state laws, means they can only take what is in plain site.
The FBI, which had been monitoring the compound for months, is refusing to comment on the case at all.
There is furniture in some of the rooms, like this bedroom, but it is buried beneath trash and clothes
A dusty dolls house sits discarded on the compound. It is one of the few signs that children lived there
Opened cans of tuna and cranberries sit next to a dusty boot in the compound. There was no other food on the site and the children had not eaten for days when they were discovered
The target practice area is shown above. Wahhaj had stacked tires behind it and surrounded it with wooden crates. To the right of it were indicators of domestic life like a laundry basket and trash bags
There was no plumbing at the site and the children’s hygiene was abominable. Above, a broken commode placed above a deep bucket is pictured
The 11 children were kept in this trailer which was covered by tarp and hidden from view
Pots and pans sitting on top of makeshift cookers fed by straws of hay and wood were also there
There were vehicles on the site along with hay bales and scores of rubber tires set up, it is believed, near a target practice area where Wahhaj was allegedly teaching the children in preparation for school shootings.
The family arrived there in December after Wahhaj abducted his disabled three-year-old son AG from Georgia.
Badger, who had been trying to have the family evicted, said on Friday that he knew the child was there and contacted police to say so but nothing was done.
‘An innocent child that’s sick and here in pain, suffering,’ he said of the toddler.
There was a large truck at the property and bicycle tires. A cell phone was found inside the truck by a neighboring landowner after the police left
Another room inside one of the trailers on the site shows a mattress beneath planks of wood
What look like children’s clothes lie in a heap next to dirty tires and pieces of wood
Police are yet to confirm that the remains of a young boy found on the site are AG’s but the toddler’s grandfather, the controversial imam Wahhaj Siraj, 68, told reporters on Thursday that it was him.
Jason Badger, who owns land on the same site, said he found Wahhaj’s passport after the police left. Many of the family’s possessions were simply left at the compound by police
Imam Sirah has also claimed that it was him who received the message that the children required food and were starving.
‘We have been meeting with law enforcement since day one,’ he said, speaking near his Brooklyn mosque on Thursday.
The message, he said, was sent by one of his daughters to a man in Georgia who passed it on to him.
When he got it, he told the man to find out where to send the food and he gave the address to authorities.
‘What I do? I said ‘find out where to send the food. That’s why the police came in, because of information that we gave them,’ he said.
His story does not align with the police timeline of events which states that they knew the family was in the compound but could not move in on the site because they were not certain that AG was inside.
He described his son as ‘high strung’ and ‘strange’ but said he had no knowledge of any form of sinister plot.
The imam’s son, who shares his name, is pictured in court in New Mexico on Wednesday. He is charged with 11 counts of child abuse and child abduction
The imam’s daughters Subhanah (left) and Hujrah (right) were also arrested and are in custody
Lucas Morton, the husband of Subhannah, also appeared in court with his head covered with a towel, apparently folded in a style resembling a plain white keffiyeh. Also there was the imam’s daughter, Jany Leveille (right)
Wahhaj, 39, will return to court on Monday along with his sisters, Subhanah, 35, and Hujrah, 38.
Imam Siraj Wahhaj, 68, is the father of the Muslim extremists
His wife Jany Leveille, 35, is also in custody as is Subhanah’s husband, Lucas Morton.
Morton’s father has spoken out to defend him and claims the accusations against the adults are based on Islamophobic prejudice.
He told Today: ‘He’s not of that character. I think it’s just propaganda and lies, you know the usual lies that people put on Muslims,’ he said.
When the children were found last Friday, they had not eaten for days and their bones were protruding, according to officials.
There was no running water at the compound and the only food there appeared to be some potatoes and a box of rice.
The five adults remain behind bars on child abuse charges.
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