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Police say that a message with just 8 words led them to a "filthy" makeshift compound in the New Mexico desert where two Muslims were arrested after what they found there.

Two men were arrested in a raid on Friday as part of the operation connected to a months-long search for the child, according to New Mexico's Taos County Sheriff's office.

The mother of Abdul-Ghani called Clayton County police on December 10 and told authorities that she hadn't seen her son since December, when Siraj said he was taking him to the park.

Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said Federal Bureau of Investigation agents had surveilled the area a few weeks ago but did not find probable cause to search the property. However, there was no sign of Abdul.

Hogrefe said the "breaking point" in seeking a search warrant came when Georgia authorities received a message that may have originated within the compound that children were starving inside.

Deputies had to "physically" take Wahhaj down to place him in custody, and he and Morten, both from Georgia, were arrested and charged with child abduction and harboring a fugitive, respectively.

It's not clear whether the boy and Siraj Wahhaj are related.

Authorities said at a news conference that they have not positively identified the remains as missing Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj.

The Associated Press reports that Badger and his wife had pressed authorities to remove the group of people in the makeshift compound, which he says is on his land.

"I had no probable cause to go onto this property prior to the day I wrote the first warrant".

According to the affidavit, written by Hogrefe, CYFD conducted interviews with some of the children, some of whom said Abdul-Ghani had died at the compound.


Aleks Kostich of the Taos County Public Defender's Office said Tuesday his agency is gathering information and assigning attorneys to the defendants.

Investigators found several items at the compound, including ammunition, a white tarp, a camcorder and a passport and Georgia identification for the boy's father, Siraj Wahhaj.

Abdul's mother told the authorities that Siraj Wahhaj wanted to exorcize his son because he considered that his disability was due to a demon.

The Taos County sheriff identified the women facing charges as 35-year-old Jany Leveille, 38-year-old Hujrah Wahhaj, and 35-year-old Subhannah Wahhaj.

In a court filing Monday, Abdul-ghani's father told the boy's mother before fleeing Georgia that he wanted to perform an exorcism on the child because he believed he was possessed by the devil.

The adults and children appeared like "refugees not only with no food or fresh water, but with no shoes, personal hygiene and basically dirty rags for clothing, " the sheriff said.

His officers helped execute a search warrant on the compound after receiving the message last week that was apparently forwarded from someone at the compound: "We are starving and need food and water". His body was discovered on what would have been the missing child's fourth birthday, the Taos County sheriff said on Tuesday. Two more people, Lucas Morten and Jenny Leveille, are also alleged to have kept the 11 children in squalor with nearly no food or water. They also stopped hearing guns fired off at a shooting range on the property, he said. Wahhaj told police the group was traveling from Georgia to New Mexico to go camping. But he eventually stopped visiting.

Jail booking photos show them wearing traditional Muslim veils or hijabs.

Badger said Tuesday that he had concerns about the compound, but that the courts and other authorities shot down his attempts to break up the encampment - described as a trailer buried in the ground.

"I've been working this job for 30 years, and I've never seen anything like this", Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe told the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper.


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