New charges of terror, kidnapping and firearms offenses were filed by federal authorities against the New Mexico jihadi cultists.
The indictments replace the previous charges filed against Jany Leveille, 36, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 40, Hurjah Wahhaj, 38, Subhanah Wahhaj, 36, and Lucas Morton, 41. Those charges included conspiracy relating to the possession of firearms and ammunition by an alien illegally and unlawfully in the United States, according to the Department of Justice.
“The superseding indictment alleges a conspiracy to stage deadly attacks on American soil,” said U.S. Attorney John C. Anderson in a statement.
“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,” he added. “I commend our law enforcement partners for their ongoing diligence and outstanding work in identifying and disabling imminent threats of targeted violence.”
The five defendants were arrested last August after police raided their compound. Although federal authorities were watching the compound, they held off raiding the property. Local police moved in after hearing reports of starving and abused children at the site.
The five were initially indicted by federal authorities after a roller coaster ride through the judicial system which first saw them arrested and then released on a technicality. The five were subsequently rearrested by the FBI.
Initial court testimony cited evidence of terrorism surrounding one of the defendants, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, that included:
- International travel to countries of interest, including Saudi Arabia and Morocco
- A manual describing the “stages of a terrorist attack” found at the compound
- FBI reports regarding Wahhaj’s other political activity
- Training of children on the compound to carry out armed jihadi attacks and die as martyrs for Islam. Possible targets discussed were government, military, educational and financial institutions
Based on evidence found at their compound in New Mexico (on land which they illegally occupied between December 2017 and August 2018) as well as testimony by some of the older of the starving 11 children whom local police rescued from the compound, federal prosecutors say the group had:
“a common plan to prepare for violent attacks on government, military, educational and financial institutions.”
The teenage children said they were being given military training to carry out jihadi school shootings, among other attacks.
The body of one of the children – the three-year-old disabled son of Siraj Ibn Wahhaj – was later found on the property. Reports contend he was denied his medicine and was the victim of multiple Islamic exorcism rituals. During one such ritual, his heart stopped and he died.
Leveille was previously indicted for being in the U.S. illegally and unlawfully, and with illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. The other adults were indicted for knowingly conspiring to provide an illegal alien with firearms and ammunition.