Defendants in New Mexico compound case hit with new charges




  • In US
  • 2019-03-14 20:39:40Z
  • By By Andrew Hay
FILE PHOTO: A combination photo of defendants Jany Leveille and Siraj Ibn Wahhaj during a hearing in Taos District Court in Taos County New Mexico
FILE PHOTO: A combination photo of defendants Jany Leveille and Siraj Ibn Wahhaj during a hearing in Taos District Court in Taos County New Mexico  

By Andrew Hay

TAOS, N.M. (Reuters) - Five people taken into custody in August at a New Mexico compound where 11 children were found ragged and starving have been charged with a conspiracy to carry out attacks on U.S. targets, prosecutors said on Thursday.The superseding indictment adds to the previous federal firearms charges filed against the defendants following a raid at the make-shift training camp where a 3-year-old boy was found buried.

"The superseding indictment alleges a conspiracy to stage deadly attacks on American soil," U.S. Attorney John Anderson said in a written statement to announce the new charges.

"These allegations remind us of the dangers of terrorism that continue to confront our nation, and the allegation concerning the death of a young child only underscores the importance of prompt and effective intervention by law enforcement," Anderson said.

Attorneys representing the five defendants could not be reached for comment by Reuters on Thursday.

The indictment handed down by a federal court grand jury in Albuquerque charges Jany Leveille, 36, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 40, Hujrah Wahhaj, 38, Subhanah Wahhaj, 36, and Lucas Morton, 41, with federal offenses related to terrorism, kidnapping and firearms violations.

The five suspects, who had established a communal living arrangement with their children in the high-desert compound north of Taos, have been in custody since the raid, which made international headlines.

The two men and three women are all related as siblings or by marriage. Three are the adult children of a prominent New York City Muslim cleric who is himself the biological grandfather of nine of the children involved.

Defense attorneys could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

Prosecutors have said the 3-year-old boy found buried at the camp, the son of Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, died in a ritual to "cast out demonic spirits," but his extended family believed he would "return as Jesus" to identify corrupt targets for them to attack.

Abdul-Ghani stopped breathing, lost consciousness and died during a ceremony in which his father put his hand on the boy's head and recited verses from the Koran, Taylor testified, citing interviews with Ibn Wahhaj's 15-year-old and 13-year-old sons.

The five had initially faced state child abuse charges, but that case was dismissed when prosecutors missed a procedural deadline.

Prosecutors said in court documents filed in September that the defendants were giving firearms instruction to the children "in furtherance of a conspiracy to commit school shootings.


(Reporting by Andrew Hay in Taos and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Editing by David Gregorio)

COMMENTS

More Related News

First-of-its-kind US nuclear waste dump marks 20 years
First-of-its-kind US nuclear waste dump marks 20 years

In a remote stretch of New Mexico desert, the U.S. government put in motion an experiment aimed at proving to the world that radioactive waste could be safely disposed of deep underground, rendering it less of a threat to the environment. Twenty years and more than 12,380 shipments later, tons of Cold

New Mexico compound suspects plead not guilty, targeted as Muslims: lawyers
New Mexico compound suspects plead not guilty, targeted as Muslims: lawyers
  • US
  • 2019-03-22 00:37:54Z

The three women and two men faced charges last week of conspiring to support planned attacks on U.S. law enforcement officers, military members and government employees while living in their makeshift home in Taos County, New Mexico. The case gained significant attention after Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said the group were "extremist of the Muslim belief" and prosecutors accused them of training two teenage sons to carry out school shootings. Defendants Jany Leveille, 36, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 40, Hujrah Wahhaj, 38, Subhanah Wahhaj, 36, and Lucas Morton, 41, are all related as siblings or by marriage.

Tribes push to protect sacred New Mexico site from drilling
Tribes push to protect sacred New Mexico site from drilling

ACOMA PUEBLO, N.M. (AP) - Native American leaders are banding together to pressure U.S. officials to ban oil and gas exploration around a sacred tribal site that features massive stone structures and other remnants of an ancient civilization but are facing the Trump administration's pro-drilling

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.