The five accused Muslim terrorists arrested at a jihadist training facility in New Mexico this summer will soon be charged with “terrorism and or kidnapping” in addition to the current firearms charges already pending, according to federal prosecutors.
This is the case in which five adults, including Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, were arrested after authorities found 11 hungry, filthy children living in squalid conditions in a terrorist training compound in Amalia, Taos County, a remote part of New Mexico on Aug. 3. The children were reportedly being trained to commit school shootings.
The remains of a three-year-old disabled boy, since identified as Wahhaj’s son, Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj, were discovered on the property which was filled with weapons. Authorities also found a manual explaining how to carry out terrorist attacks and fight hand-to-hand.
According to investigators, Abdul-Ghani died during a ruqyah, which is an Islamic rite of exorcism, in early 2018, after the boy’s father, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and Leveille refused to give him epilepsy medication, which they claimed caused him to become "possessed." He reportedly cried and foamed at the mouth during the ritual which was performed for hours each day until he died.
Leveille reportedly said Abdul-Ghani would be brought back to life as “Jesus Christ," at which point he would tell the group which corrupt government institutions they should convert to their beliefs and which they should destroy.
But in a recent court filing federal prosecutors indicated new charges are in the works.
In a response to a defense motion, prosecutors stated, “[t]he United States has made both the Defendants and the Court aware that investigation of this matter continues.”
They continued: “There will be at least one superseding indictment. A superseding indictment alleging terrorism and or kidnapping offenses may yet address the Defendants’ concerns.”
“Investigation is ongoing, and discovery is far from complete,” the document states. “Trial currently is scheduled for April 2020.”
If terrorism charges are filed, it will be the first time such charges have ever been filed in the state of New Mexico, the Albuquerque Journal reports.
The five individuals faced state-level child abuse charges but those were thrown out after local prosecutors failed to conduct preliminary hearings within state-imposed deadlines. The local district attorney, Donald Gallegos, a Democrat, said at the time that the charges would soon be refiled. But later he said he would put the child abuse charges on the back burner to allow the federal prosecution to move forward. After being subjected to withering criticism, Gallegos announced in October he would not seek reelection in 2020.
To the horror of law-and-order and counter-terrorism advocates, Judge Sarah C. Backus, also a Democrat, of the Eighth Judicial District of New Mexico ordered the jihadists released in August. Backus claimed a voter-approved state law left her no choice but to release the defendants on a mere $20,000 bail each with no up-front deposit. Backus wrote in her decision at the time that even though "[t]he state alleges that there was a big plan afoot … the state hasn't shown to my satisfaction and by clear and convincing evidence what that plan was." The FBI arrested the defendants on Aug. 31. The day after the indictment was approved by a federal grand jury on Sept. 11, federal Judge Kirtan Khalsa denied bail for all the defendants.
Currently, the defendants stand formally accused of gathering firearms and ammunition and shipping them from Georgia to New Mexico, as well as transporting minor children across state lines.
What’s particularly interesting about the indictment is that Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, whose father of the same name is a notorious jihadist imam, is not identified as the terrorist cell’s religious leader. Wahhaj’s father, who was close to the Blind Sheikh who orchestrated the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 that left seven people (including an unborn baby) dead, is deeply involved in Democratic Party politics. Imam Wahhaj used to be a member of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) national advisory board. He offered an opening prayer at an event called “Jumah at the DNC” at the Democratic National Convention in 2012 and has been called the spiritual adviser of jihad sympathizer and Bernie Sanders supporter Linda Sarsour. Sarsour co-chairs the Women’s March organization and openly admits membership in America’s largest Marxist group, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).
The terrorist cell’s religious inspiration has been identified as Wahhaj’s wife, Jany Leveille, 35, a longtime illegal alien from Haiti. The current indictment charges Wahhaj, Hujrah Wahhaj, Subhaah Wahhaj, and Lucas Morton with unlawfully providing Leveille with firearms “in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(5)."
Leveille reportedly used to work at Imam Wahhaj’s terrorist-linked mosque, Masjid At-Taqwa, in Brooklyn, N.Y. All five co-conspirators are related by blood or marriage.
The indictment describes the larger conspiracy in which all five defendants allegedly participated. The accused "established a residence, training camp, and firing range at which they stored firearms and ammunition and engaged in firearms and tactical training as part of their common plan to prepare for violent attacks on government, military, educational, and financial institutions in fulfillment of” Leveille’s “religious prophecies."
Leveille and Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, in particular, "sought to recruit and train persons, including minor children, to be prepared to engage in jihad and train an army of jihad and to die as martyrs.”
According to court filings, Leveille described herself as a kind of prophet and claimed she was receiving divine messages from the “Angel Gabriel.” It is a tenet of Islam that Gabriel, an archangel, dictated the Koran to Muhammad.
There is also evidence that Siraj Ibn Wahhaj traveled to Saudi Arabia and Morocco, and that Wahhaj and his brother joined a Black Lives Matter march in Atlanta before moving to New Mexico.
The investigation continues.