NEW YORK — A representative of a New York mosque says the raid of a ramshackle compound in New Mexico is being used as propaganda against Muslims.
Ali Abdul-Karim Judan, a spokesman for the mosque, said in a video posted Thursday on Facebook that the incident was a domestic situation that has nothing to do with extremism.
Siraj Wahhaj, who leads a New York City mosque, says 11 children found at the compound Friday were either his biological grandchildren or members of his family through marriage. The remains of one child, a severely disabled boy, were also found.
Wahhaj grown children are among the five adults arrested on child abuse charges following a raid at the site.
The imam previously won a settlement from New York City amid complaints certain Muslim mosques were being monitored by police illegally, including his — Masjid al-Taqwa — located at Bedford Avenue and Fulton Street in Brooklyn.
Judan on Thursday cast doubt on a contention by prosecutors that children found at the site were being trained to use assault rifles in preparation for school shootings.
He said authorities should not have made that claim without stronger evidence.
The mosque has attracted radicals over the years, including a man who later helped bomb the World Trade Center in 1993.