All five members of the Islamist jihadi cult discovered in New Mexico will be held without bail. A federal judge made the decision at their arraignment hearing, telling the defendants there was
“clear and convincing evidence that you are a danger to the community.”
The five were indicted on conspiracy and federal firearms charges last week after a roller coaster ride through the judicial system which first saw them arrested and then released on a technicality. The five were then rearrested by the FBI on the current charges.
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 disabled son of one of the group’s leaders – was later found on the property. Reports contend he had been denied his medicine and was the victim of multiple Islamic exorcism rituals. During one such ritual, his heart stopped and he died.
Three of the defendants — Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, father of the dead child; Subhanna Wahhaj; and Hujrah Wahhaj — are children of the well-known radical imam Siraj Wahhaj, Sr.
The other two defendants are Jany Leveille, leader of the cult and partner of Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, and Lucas Morton, husband of Subhanna Wahhaj.
Leveille was indicted last week 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.
Siraj Ibn Wahhaj’s lawyer Thomas Clark objected to the charges saying they were the result of racial and religious bias.
“If these were white people of a Christian faith who owned guns, that’s not a big deal because there’s a Second Amendment right to own firearms in this country. If these were white Christians, faith healing is of no consequence because we have freedom of religion in this country. But they look different and they worship differently from the rest of us,” Clark contended.
The suspects each face up to five years in prison. Leveille also faces up to 10 years in prison and deportation at the end of her sentence if convicted.