Five people arrested in a raid last week in the U.S. state of New Mexico are charged with child abuse. They’ve all entered pleas of not guilty. Prosecutors said the group was found with a number of starving children who were being trained to kill schoolkids. CGTN’s Roee Ruttenberg has details.
Authorities raided this remote make-shift compound in New Mexico late last week after locals expressed concern about the welfare of children living on the lot. Officers were looking for a three-year old boy from the state of Georgia, more than two-thousand kilometers away.
Abdul-ghani Wahhaj went missing back in December. They found his father and another adult male – both armed— and three women. All five were arrested. They also found 11 children, ranging in age from 15 years old to only one. Officials said the kids were malnourished and being trained to use assault rifles. According to court documents, the children were told they’d be rewarded with food once they’d committed a school shooting.
On Monday, on what would have been Abdul-ghani’s fourth birthday, authorities found the remains of a small boy at the site. Medical examiners are still working to identify the remains. Court documents revealed on Wednesday, that include interviews with two other children, say the Abdul-ghani had been sick and died at the complex. The children said his body was washed according to Islamic tradition, and buried in a tunnel.
The couple who owns the large remote property said they told authorities about the problems months ago. They said they also told them they saw the missing boy alive. Local law enforcement said they previously had no legal right to search the grounds. The remaining children are now in protective custody.