The disturbing reports about the mysterious New Mexico compound were 11 starving children and one little boy’s body were found grew even darker on Wednesday, after court documents were released alleging that the kids were being trained to carry out school shootings. Despite those revelations, ABC’s World News Tonight and the CBS Evening News still refused to report the connection to Muslim extremism by the five adults there.
The alleged training appeared to be the final straw for NBC because, up until that point, they were in lockstep with the rest of their liberal colleagues and omitted the extremism connection from their reports. ABC seemed to be tired of reporting on the disturbing compound because they only gave it a news brief lasting only 15 seconds.
NBC correspondent Gadi Schwartz seemed thrown off by the depravity of the case as he began his report by declaring that allegations were “so disturbing they’re difficult to believe.” “Court documents allege the children were being trained with assault weapons to commit school shootings,” he added. There also was a shooting range setup on the property.
“The Sheriff describing the suspects as Muslim extremists. Reports suggesting, they may somehow be related to a controversial Muslim faith leader in Brooklyn who has been linked to the 1993 World Trade Center bombings,” Schwartz continued.
CBS's Omar Villafranca did note the family relation to the “Muslim faith leader” but didn’t report the “Muslim extremists” description by New Mexico authorities.
“Investigators had been searching for a three-year-old boy named Abdul Ghani Wahhaj believed to be kidnapped by his father Siraj Wahhaj. Court documents saying, the father wanted to perform an exorcism on the child,” Schwartz added. Other reporting suggested the father believed his son was possessed by the Devil.
During the initial raid on the compound, authorities didn’t find any trace of Abdul but they would later be led to a horrific scene. “Then, during interviews with the children, they were told about a small body buried in a tunnel or a toilet room in the compound,” Schwartz said. Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe was fighting back emotions during a press conference, saying, “We discovered his remains yesterday on Abdul's fourth birthday.”
On Fox News’ Special Report that evening, correspondent William La Jeunesse shared more information on Wahhaj’s father, who shares the same name. “Now Wahhaj’s father is a controversial Islamic cleric, who was named, but never charged, as an unindicted co-conspirator in the World Trade Center Bombing in 1993. He also praised the man who was convicted in the bombing and called the CIA and FBI, quote, ‘the real terrorists.’”
In addition, Spanish-language networks Univision and Telemundo also omitted all connections between Wahhaj and Muslim extremism.
The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:
NBC Nightly News
August 8, 2018
7:01 p.m. Eastern
LESTER HOLT: Shocking new revelations have emerged from that squalid, makeshift compound in New Mexico where now authorities say small children were being trained to carry out school shootings. 11 children who appeared to be starving were found there last Friday and, later, so were the remains of another child. Today, five adults appeared in court where they face child abuse charges as investigators are working to further unravel this dark mystery. Our Gadi Schwartz has details.
[Cuts to video]
GADI SCHWARTZ: In the desert of New Mexico, allegations so disturbing they’re difficult to believe.
JASON NADGER (Landowner): He’s had these kids they are keeping here that never even came out.
SCHWARTZ: In court today, the five adults believed to be the parents of the 11 children rescued from filth and starvation at this New Mexico compound. Court documents allege the children were being trained with assault weapons to commit school shootings.
JERRY HOGREFE [Taos Country Sheriff]: There was a shooting range built on the west side of the property.
SCHWARTZ: The Sheriff describing the suspects as Muslim extremists. Reports suggesting, they may somehow be related to a controversial Muslim faith leader in Brooklyn who has been linked to the 1993 World Trade Center bombings.
Authorities say a secret message sent from inside the compound led them to the kids. A note saying, “We are starving.” Investigators had been searching for a 3-year-old boy named Abdul Ghani Wahhaj believed to be kidnapped by his father Siraj Wahhaj. Court documents saying, the father wanted to perform an exorcism on the child.
When they raided the compound, deputies say they found an arsenal of loaded firearms and 11 emaciated children aged one to 15, but no sign of Abdul, the missing 3-year-old. Then, during interviews with the children, they were told about a small body bury in a tunnel or a toilet room in the compound.
HOGREFE: We discovered his remains yesterday on Abdul's fourth birthday.
SCHWARTZ: A horrific discovery with new chilling details growing more alarming by the day. Gadi Schwartz, NBC News.