Via America’s Lawyer: Mike Papantonio is joined by legal journalist Mollye Barrows to talk about a compound uncovered by the FBI in Macon County, Alabama. Designed to arm and train young recruits to become terrorists, the training ground was led by Siraj Wahhaj, who had been arrested previously in New Mexico for spearheading a similar compound found there in March 2019.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             In a startling report, the FBI discovered a plot of land in Macon County, Alabama was being used as a training ground to turn kids into terrorists. Pretty unlikely story, but I have Mollye here to talk about it. Mollye, this story, this, this was all discovered by accident. These folks were driving to New Mexico, right? They had a room.

Mollye Barrows:                Something like that.

Mike Papantonio:             They had the car full of people, full of kids. It overturned the police officer that did the investigation, found guns, found reason to investigate what was going on in Macon, Alabama. Tell me this story it’s, it’s a crazy story.

Mollye Barrows:                So it’s a group of five individuals, their family members, essentially. The main guy is Siraj Wahhaj and they’re also connected to a compound, a similar type compound in New Mexico. So the one in Macon County, Alabama is something like a military style, sort of a makeshift obstacle course, if you will. And at that compound they saw some training facilities, although no attack was ever carried out. But this Siraj Wahhaj, his two sisters, his partner, and a couple of other people, they were actually living in New Mexico. So they were dividing their time. I’m not entirely sure the details there, how that worked out, but they ended up being arrested at the New Mexico compound in 2018 because they were looking for, police had gotten a tip that, Wahhaj’s three year old son who had been reported by, missing by his mother from Georgia. They’d gotten a tip through the grandfather who’s actually a leader of a, an imam in New York and he’s well known and.

Mike Papantonio:             It all, it all ties up to the imam in New York.

Mollye Barrows:                Yes, but he is dissing, if you will. He is not supporting what his son or his other children were doing.

Mike Papantonio:             Right.

Mollye Barrows:                So he’s saying now he’s waiting for all the evidence to come out. There’s a trial coming up on what they found, coming up in April, on what they found.

Mike Papantonio:             Let’s talk about that. They found, what they found is a training camp for terrorists.

Mollye Barrows:                They did and they, it looks like they spent the majority of their time in New Mexico, but both of those facilities were being used for that. They found notes detailing what their attacks were. They wanted to attack schools, they wanted to attack law enforcement, they wanted to attack military. They even found text messages where they were putting out the word to others to say, hey, come join us if you’re interested in committing deadly violent attacks as jihad.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Mollye Barrows:                You name it. So it was clear that was their goal. But you do have some other strange twists to this case.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, let me put one of those twists. The people they were training were children.

Mollye Barrows:                They were they’re own kids.

Mike Papantonio:             They were, they were training their own kids.

Mollye Barrows:                Eleven children.

Mike Papantonio:             One child, they found the remains of, that obviously had been killed some how.

Mollye Barrows:                That was the one that was reported missing.

Mike Papantonio:             Right.

Mollye Barrows:                Epilepsy. The dad took the child from the mom. He and the girlfriend were praying the devil out of this child instead of giving this child their seizure meds.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay.

Mollye Barrows:                His seizure meds.

Mike Papantonio:             But, but this is, the unique thing about, this wasn’t to train adults.

Mollye Barrows:                No.

Mike Papantonio:             This wasn’t to train the imam in New York.

Mollye Barrows:                They were training those kids. Right.

Mike Papantonio:             To blow himself up.

Mollye Barrows:                No.

Mike Papantonio:             It’s always, always train the kids.

Mollye Barrows:                They’re vulnerable.

Mike Papantonio:             To go and blow your, blow the kids up. I’m going to sit back here and preach about the evil empire and I’m going to send in to blow themselves up and kill infidels.

Mollye Barrows:                That’s right.

Mike Papantonio:             So that’s what was being, that’s the unique thing about this. This is, this is a little different from, a little different from ISIS in many regards where the training camps look different.

Mollye Barrows:                But the evilness is the same.

Mike Papantonio:             Oh no, the ugliness is the same, but this is particularly ugly in my mind because the focus was to train children.

Mollye Barrows:                That’s right because they’re invaluable.

Mike Papantonio:             You know, children, children as, as young as eight years old.

Mollye Barrows:                Yes.

Mike Papantonio:             To strap bombs on themselves, go into stores, go into schools, go into law enforcement.

Mollye Barrows:                Well, and military style training to shoot as well.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah, yeah.

Mollye Barrows:                They were using these shooting ranges to do that. They were also malnourished. The entire living conditions were squalor apparently. So they’re facing federal charges of basically planning attacks on Americans, including law enforcement and military as well as kidnapping related to the death of that little boy.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah, yeah.

Mollye Barrows:                And, and some firearms charges as well, because they did find a stockpile of weapons as well out in New Mexico. So they’re still investigating connections

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah, in other words, the, the question is, are there more facilities like this that they’re looking into?

Mollye Barrows:                Correct. Right.

Mike Papantonio:             Mollye, thank you for joining me. Okay.

Mollye Barrows:                Thanks Pap.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.