‘So stunning, it’s beyond reason’: Three supects from NM compound walk free after judge drops charges

Of the five suspected Islamic terrorists apprehended at a New Mexico compound at the start of the month plotting terror attacks and training abused children to be school shooters, three were released from custody Wednesday after a local judge dismissed child neglect charges against them.

In defense of his ruling, Judge Emilio Chavez argued that “prosecutors [had] missed a 10-day limit for an evidentiary hearing to establish probable cause for the neglect charges,” according to the AP.

Child neglect charges were also dropped against lead suspect Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and his partner, Jany Leveille. Charges against the two filed last Friday in regard to the kidnapping  and death of Wahhaj’s son still remain. Wahjaj is himself the son of Siraj Wahhaj, a Brooklyn imam who was named a co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombings that left six dead and 1,000+ injured.

All five were arrested Aug. 3 after authorities conducted a raid on a compound in New Mexico as part of an investigation into the whereabouts of Wahhaj’s son, Abdul-ghani Wahhaj, 3. Besides finding the five suspects at the compound, authorities also discovered 11 hungry children living in filthy conditions.

Authorities also found the remains of a child who’s since been identified as Wahhaj’s son. It’s believed he was killed when Wahhaj and his partner performed a fatal exorcism on him to rid him of his seizure symptoms, which they believed were signs of demonic possession.

What made Chavez’s stunning so shocking to many was that prosecutors had just recently shared evidence in court that the five may have been planning a terror attack. The evidence included a document found at the compound titled, “Phrases of a Terrorist Attack,” that listed detailed instructions on how to plan and execute a terror attack.

The document listed “instructions for ‘The one-time terrorist,’ instructions on the use of a ‘choke point,’ a location ‘called the ideal attack site,’ the ‘ability to defend the safe haven,’ the ‘ability to escape-perimeter rings,’ and ‘sniper position detection procedure,’” according to a court filing by prosecutors.

The five had reportedly been planning to target Atlanta’s Grady Hospital.

The evidence submitted by prosecutors also included quotes from the abused children about the other three suspects, including Wahhaj’s sisters, Hujrah Wahhaj and Subhannah Wahhaj, and a fifth individual identified only as Lucas Morten.

Some of the children reportedly told authorities that Morten had “stated he wished to die in Jihad, as a martyr,” prosecutors revealed in their motion. “At times, Jany Leveille would laugh and joke about dying in Jihad as would Subhanna Wahhaj.”

Prosecutors also cited a letter from Morton to Wahhaj’s brother urging him to follow Allah “until he makes you die a martyr as you wanted and the only way is by joining the righteous.”

That people so sinister were essentially let off the hook scot-free did not sit well with the denizens of Twitter, including outspoken Hollywood actor James Woods:

Despite everyone’s clear-cut anger over Chavez’s ruling, a number of people argued that thanks to New Mexico’s laws, he had no choice in the matter.


The Associated Press notes that prosecutors “could still seek charges” against the three who were let go, though it cautioned that they have yet to signal that they intend to do as such.

Meanwhile, as the rest of the country fretted over the judge’s ruling, CNN was busy documenting the difficult life faced by terrorists:

This is CNN.


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