The police of New Mexico raided a compound in a remote area of the desert to discover 11 malnourished children and three women whom armed to the teeth men kept locked in “the ugliest looking, filthiest” living conditions.
The police raided the compound in search of a 4-year-old boy after having received a message with the words “We are hungry, we need food and water.” While it remains unclear how exactly children aged one to 15 years found themselves in this place, which resembles an improvised military camp, with reinforcements from automobile tires, a shooting range and an underground tunnel.
According to the police, there is no running water and electricity in the territory. People lived in a small plastic-covered trailer. There was no fresh water in the camp, and only a small stock of potatoes and rice.
“I’ve been working with the police for 30 years and I’ve never seen anything like that. They were skinny, with ribs sticking out, and very frightened, full of unsanitary conditions reigned,” County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe told reporters.
According to Sherif Hogrefe, women and children were brainwashed and intimidated by men who ran the camp. After the raid, the children have been taken to local bodies of social care. The women were detained, but then released. Presumably, they were mothers of children.
One of the arrested, Siraj Wahhaj, 39, was wanted on suspicion of kidnapping his own three-year-old son, but so far the boy was not found. Now the police are checking Wahhaj’s connection with the children found.
Authorities say that the camp could be a training base for Muslim extremists. Residents of the nearby town of Amalia, who are seriously concerned about the safety of their children, admit that it may be a totalitarian sect.