No evidence children at New Mexico compound were training for school shootings, lawyer says

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An attorney for Siraj Wahhaj said he has seen no evidence to support an allegation that his client’s children were being trained on a New Mexico compound to carry out school shootings.

Wahhaj was one of five adults arrested August 3 on the remote compound outside of Taos following the discovery of 11 malnourished children — nine of whom were Wahhaj’s.

In court documents, New Mexico prosecutors said the adults were training the children to commit school shootings. But Wahhaj’s lawyer, Thomas Clark, told CNN that he has seen nothing in the evidence handed over by prosecutors so far that supports the accusation. If anything, the children were trained to protect the compound, Clark said.

Also arrested in the raid were Wahhaj’s sisters, Hujrah Wahhaj and Subhannah Wahhaj, his wife Jany Leveille, and another co-defendant, Lucas Morten. The five each face 11 counts of child abuse. They have pleaded not guilty.

A lawyer for Subhannah Wahhaj also told CNN that she has not seen evidence that anyone on the compound was training for school shootings.

Wahhaj and his four co-defendants are scheduled to appear in a Taos courtroom Monday afternoon for a preliminary hearing.

The search for Wahhaj’s missing son, Abdul-Ghani, led authorities to the compound. The remains of a young boy were found on the compound on August 6, the same day Abdul-Ghani would have turned four. The remains have not been positively identified.

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