Media and Breaking News Editor
Media outlets are leaving out a key detail about the New Mexico compound leaders who were reportedly training young children to commit school shootings.
Eleven children were recently rescued from the “filthy” compound, which police say appears to be run by Siraj Wahhaj and Lucas Morten. Wahhaj, the son of a prominent imam, was accused in court documents released Wednesday of training the children on the compound to commit school shootings.
Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said Tuesday that he believes Wahhaj and Morten are “extremist[s] of the Muslim belief.” Wahhaj’s father is a controversial cleric with ties to Muslim rights groups and was an un-indicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing case.
Fox News noted the extremist nature of the compound leaders in an article published Wednesday, but other news outlets have not been as forthcoming about the group’s Muslim ties.
CNN, for example, did not mention the words “Muslim” or “extremist” in a Tuesday article about the discovery of the 11 missing children.
During an on-air segment about the compound, CNN correspondent Scott McLean brought up the group’s alleged extremism but quickly brushed it aside as being unverified.
“Last week, the sheriff here, the local sheriff, said that he believed that the folks on this compound — the adults at least — were extremists of the Islamic belief, but when he was pressed on that he did not follow up,” McLean explained. “I cannot stress enough here that these people have not been charged with conspiracy to commit school shooting. … This is just one singular point in a charging document.”
NBC News, Time Magazine and CBS News also did not mention the alleged “extremist … belief[s]” of the compound leaders in two recent articles.
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