The Bible hedges on whether the sins of the father should be visited on the son.
Now we have the Wahhaj family. Siraj Ibn Wahhaj; his two sisters, Hujrah and Subhanah, and a third woman are believed to be the parents of 11 malnourished children living in a ramshackle camp in New Mexico. Siraj is also suspected of having kidnapped his 4-year-old son, whose remains authorities believe they have found at the camp.
Prosecutors say that when they arrested Siraj, he carried a loaded revolver and five 30-round magazines. Four more guns were found in a bedroom as well as an AR-15 rifle. Prosecutors claim he was training at least one child to carry out school shootings.
Siraj and his sisters are the offspring of Imam Siraj Wahhaj, an African-American convert to Islam who is a charismatic and controversial figure. The imam testified as a character witness for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing conspirator Omar Abdel-Rahman. The feds named Siraj an unindicted co-conspirator, a term prosecutors use when they believe a person is guilty but lack proof.
After the 2009 Fort Hood, Texas, shootings by a Muslim military doctor, Siraj was among Islamic leaders invited to meet with then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg and then-Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
Kelly placed the imam on the NYPD’s terror suspect list. According to Intelligence Division documents made available to NYPD Confidential and The Associated Press — the accuracy of which is questionable — the imam was listed among the NYPD’s “Tier One Persons of Interest.”
The Masjid At-Taqwa mosque in Brooklyn, which he leads, was listed as one of the NYPD’s nine “Tier One Mosques of Concern,” with the notation, “a large number of congregants are ex-convicts.” Mosque spokesman Ali Abdul-Karim Judan said in a Facebook video that the media and the authorities were engaging in “propaganda.”
Indeed, the imam appeared less a terrorist than a concerned father and a harsh religious leader. He told reporters he tipped off New Mexico authorities to his children and appeared to praise their raid.
He said his son and two daughters had “cut ties” to the family. “I feel bad as a parent they didn’t feel comfortable enough to come to me,” he said. The Daily News quoted him saying his children deserved no mercy if they played a part in his grandson’s death. “God stands in judgment against them . . . Whoever is responsible that person should be accountable.”