U.S. Tenth Circuit - The FindLaw 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

New Mexico Compound Suspects Indicted

Alleged jihadists were indicted on weapons and conspiracy charges in New Mexico, where authorities say the defendants were training to carry out attacks in the United States.

Magistrate Judge Kiran Khalsa denied bail to the five adults, and told them there was "clear and convincing evidence" that they are "a danger to the community."

It is an especially disturbing case because originally the Muslim adherents were arrested after police found 11 starving children and the body of a three-year-old at their desert compound.

Child Abuse and Death

On Aug. 3, local police arrested the defendants on state child abuse charges. The children had no food or clean water, but there was a cache of firearms.

Three days later, police found the dead child buried at the settlement. Prosecutors missed a procedural deadline, however, and three suspects were released.

According to reports, the state will refile the child abuse charges against all the defendants and additional charges against two suspects -- Jany Leveille and Siraj Ibn Wahhaj -- in the child's death. The other defendants are Hujrah Wahhaj, Subhanah Wahhaj, and Lucas Morton.

Leveille and Wahhaj were already facing charges for allegedly withholding medication from the boy, who suffered siezures and died months before the raid on the compound.

Conspiracy and Weapons

On Sept. 12, all the defendants were indicted on charges they transported firearms and ammunition across state lines as "as part of their common plan to prepare for violent attacks." They have pleaded not guilty.

Some of the children said they were being trained to attack targets. Leveille reportedly told them the dead boy would be resurrected as Jesus and identify the targets.

George Kraehe, the chief prosecutor, said the defendants "trained children to kill people as part of an end of times ... jihad."

Related Resources: