11 kids rescued from illegal compound

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Eleven children including a baby were rescued when police raided a desert compound in New Mexico that was suspected of housing heavily-armed Muslim extremists. Morten was charged with harboring a fugitive and Wahhaj was charged with child abduction.

Mr Hogrefe told ABC it appeared the women and children "were brainwashed and feel great intimidation from the men that were in control of this facility".

The Badgers tried to evict the occupants, but it was dismissed in magistrate court, according to the search warrant affidavit.

In an interview with The Taos News, Jason Badger, the owner of the Amalia property where the group arrived and began building early this year, said he had seen the missing child on the property a few times.

"The only food we saw were a few potatoes and a box of rice in the filthy trailer", Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said. Police did not say how the adults were related to one another.

The FBI and authorities in Georgia indicated to the sheriff's office that there could be weapons on the compound, and deputies learned that there had been a shooting range installed there, Hogrefe said.

Wahhaj was found armed with an AR15 rifle, five loaded 30 round magazines, and four loaded pistols, including one in his pocket when he was taken down, police said.

They have now been charged with several counts of child abuse.

This handout photo released by the Taos County Sheriff's Office on Aug 4, 2018 shows a view of a trailer at a makeshift compound.

There they found a heavily armed Morton and Wahhaj, as well as the 11 children in deplorable, poverty stricken conditions.

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A person close to the family who asked to remain anonymous because they did not have permission from the family to share information confirmed that Saraj Ibn Wahhaj is the imam's son. It wasn't clear whether they had retained attorneys.

The father of a missing Georgia boy is expected to make his first court appearance Tuesday, which could shed light on a freaky tale of guns, exorcism and child abuse at a New Mexico compound.

There they found 11 emaciated children ranging in age from 1 to 15, along with three women believed to be their mothers - Hujrah Wahhaj, 38; Subhannah Wahhaj, 35; and Jany Leveille, 35.

The arrests were part of an operation connected to a months-long search for an abducted three-year-old, according to the Taos County sheriff's office.

Three women living at the compound were initially taken into custody but released.

The investigation kicked off late last year on the opposite side of the country in Jonesboro, Georgia, where 39-year-old Siraj Wahhaj of the state's Clayton County was accused of kidnapping his toddler - who was ultimately not found.

He said he felt investigators had enough probable cause to put in an affidavit for a search warrant.

After seeing the message apparently sent from someone at the compound asking for food and water, Hogrefe said he felt he needed to act. Siraj Ibn Wahhaj was arrested Friday with another Atlanta man, Lucas Morten, in Amalia, New Mexico.

The father told the boy's mother before fleeing Georgia that he wanted to perform an exorcism on the child, who he believed was possessed by the devil, according to documents made public in a court filing on Monday.

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