News & Politics

Teen from New Mexico Islamist Compound Says He Was Trained for Jihad

(Taos County Sheriff's Office via AP)

A 13-year-old teenager who was part of a group of Muslims staying at a run-down residence in New Mexico told authorities that he was being trained to carry out jihad against “unbelievers.”

Police discovered 11 children and five adults living at the compound without clean water or food last month. They also discovered a cache of weapons and the body of a three-year-old boy.

Reuters:

In an affidavit filed in support of a criminal complaint, an FBI special agent wrote that Leveille’s 13-year-old son told investigators that his mother’s boyfriend, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 40, wanted to “get an army together” and train them for jihad.

The boy told agents that Ibn Wahhaj trained him and another of Leveille’s teenage sons in firearms and military techniques, including rapid reloads and hand-to-hand combat, and told them jihad meant killing non-believers on behalf of Allah, according to the affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in New Mexico.

The 13-year-old also told the FBI that his mother believed she received messages from God, and that he watched her and Ibn Wahhaj perform supposed “exorcism” rituals over the three-year-old boy, including one during which the boy choked and his heart stopped, according to the special agent’s affidavit.

The teenager said his mother and others at the compound told him not to talk to anyone about the three-year-old ever being at the compound because they would “all go to jail.”

Last week, a state judge released the adults without bail, despite the obvious danger to the community. But on Friday, the FBI re-arrested all five grownups and is charging them with conspiracy and weapons charges.

Good Morning America:

Lucas Morton, Subhannah Wahhaj and Hujrah Wahhaj — who are sisters — were taken back into custody on the weapons charges, authorities said. Jany Leveille and Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, who had not been released, were also charged by the FBI. Leveille, who is from Haiti and in the U.S. illegally, was charged with being “an alien unlawfully in possession of firearms and ammunition in the District of New Mexico from Nov. 2017 through Aug. 2018.”

The other four were charged with aiding and abetting Leveille, according to a release from the FBI.

[…]

The grand jury indictment will allow prosecutors to build a better case and avoid another 10-day deadline, he said.

A judge ruled on Wednesday that Morton, Subhannah Wahhaj and Wahha could not remain in custody on child neglect accusations since prosecutors missed a 10-day limit to establish probable cause for the neglect charges.

“I don’t know if they are overworked or they don’t have enough people at their office. I don’t see the district attorney here or the chief deputy district attorney, but it is disturbing to me that the district attorney would put this court in that kind of a situation,” Judge Jeff McCelroy said Wednesday.

It may have been “disturbing” to the judge that the prosecutor blew it, residents of the area must be livid. Court documents released earlier indicated that the children were being trained for school shootings and the teenager was being taught to kill “unbelievers.” How this doesn’t represent a clear and present danger to the community I don’t know, but the judge determined that the adults could be released without bail.

Now that they’ve been rearrested, let’s hope they’re locked up for a good long time.