The boy, one of 11 children found starving at the filthy compound, is the son of Jany Leveille, an illegal immigrant from Haiti and the leader of the cult. Also at the compound was Leveille’s husband (or boyfriend, as her son referred to him), Siraj Wahhaj, Jr., son of radical imam Siraj Wahhaj, Sr. based in New York. Two of the other adult defendants in the case are Wahhaj, Sr.’s children as well.
The boy said he and another teenage son of Leveille were trained for jihad by Wahhaj. Jr. The children received instruction in firearms and military techniques, such as rapid reloads and hand-to-hand combat, according to an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in New Mexico.
The teenager said Wahhaj, Jr. instructed them that jihad meant killing non-believers for the sake of Allah and said that Wahhaj, Jr. wanted to “get an army together.” Documents recovered from the compound listed potential targets, including school shootings or an attack on Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital, one of the largest hospitals in the Southeast.
The five adults were initially arrested in connection with the death of Wahhaj, Jr.’s three-year-old disabled son. After local prosecutors dropped charges in the death of the boy, “Taos County District Attorney Donald Gallegos said Friday his office would now seek grand jury indictments involving the death,” Fox News reported.
Leveille and Wahhaj, Jr. believed that Wahhaj, Jr.’s three-year-old son, who had epilepsy, was possessed by a demon. As Leveille’s 13-year-old son watched, Leveille and Wahhaj, Jr. performed “exorcism” rituals over boy.
During one of the sessions, according to the teenager, the boy choked and his heart stopped, according to an affidavit filed by the FBI.
All five defendants have now been charged with “being an alien unlawfully in possession of firearms and ammunition in the District of New Mexico from Nov. 2017 through Aug. 2018,” according to the FBI. The other four adults were charged with “aiding and abetting Leveille in committing the offense and with conspiring with Leveille to commit the offense.”
They were arrested in Taos without incident on August 31. In the new charges, Leveille faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and deportation upon completion of her sentence. If convicted of aiding and abetting Leveille, her co-defendants could also face 10 years in prison in addition to five years on the conspiracy charge.
If convicted for child abuse resulting in death, the defendants could spend the rest of their lives in jail.