A Clayton County father arrested at a New Mexico compound appeared in court on charges of child abuse.
Investigators arrested 39-year old Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and four adults where 11 children lived in filthy conditions.
The father is accused of abducting his 4-year-old son, Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj, in December.
The remains of a small boy have not been identified by the medical examiner but in court on Monday, officials said Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj allegedly died during a “ritual” in the New Mexico desert witnessed by children who were told he’d resurrect as Jesus.
New Mexico officials said family of the child’s father remembered that he began speaking of stopping his son’s medicine and performing rituals to rid him of “demonic spirits” after a trip to Saudi Arabia. The child suffered from brain damage from birth and seizures.
Wahhaj's father and namesake, Imam Siraj Wahhaj, spoke in court telling the judge he wants justice. The imam is the first Muslim to offer opening prayer to the U.S. House of Representatives and for radical speeches before 9/11.
He said for months Clayton County police helped Hakima Ramzi look for her missing child in this case that has now received national attention.
"I can't make no sense of it. I don't understand, there's something missing and I hope we get to the bottom," he told Channel 2's Mark Winne. "I just want the truth. I'm not like, "These are my kids they couldn't do anything wrong.'"
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He said he's never known any of his children to embrace radical or terrorist ideology and estimates he last heard directly from any of the three involved in this case in December.
"I wanna attempt to talk to them. Hopefully they will talk to me," he said.
He said he expects to be in New Mexico this week.
"I wanna meet my grandchildren, but first I'm gonna make sure they’re OK," he said.
Sadly, he expects to preside at the funeral in Atlanta for his grandson Abdul-Ghani.
“I can’t see him being in any other place than paradise, heaven."
Cox Media Group