SHOCKING RULING: Judge Releases NM Extremists

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, August 14, 2018:

In a shocking ruling, a judge released four of the five adults arrested from the Islamic extremist compound in New Mexico that was raided last week.

Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, the father of the disabled boy who died from being denied his medication, is the only one still being held because he faces an additional charge since he was a fugitive.

Judge Sarah Backus ruled the prosecutors failed to prove the four individuals would pose a direct threat to the community and thus they did not need to be held until trial.

She released them to house arrest and on a $20,000 “signature bond,” which means they just have to sign a document promising to return to court when it is time for trial. If they do not show up to court, they will face arrest and be required to pay $20,000 as a penalty.

All five suspects – Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, Hujrah Wahhaj, Subhannah Wahhaj, Lucas “Luqman” Morton and Jany Leveille—have been charged with 11 counts of child abuse. Siraj Ibn Wahhaj has an additional charge of being a fugitive due to an arrest warrant in Georgia. Morton was also charged with one count of harboring a fugitive for refusing to tell police where Siraj was.

Backus ruled they must reside in acceptable living conditions, wear ankle monitors at all times, cannot have firearms, cannot leave the country and can only see their children if they are supervised.

Law enforcement sources in New Mexico who spoke to Clarion Intelligence Network were shocked and dismayed, wondering out loud what it would have taken for the judge to see the threat that they pose.

There have been many times where criminals have been on house arrest with the same exact charges as the compound residents and have cut off their ankle monitors and escaped for years, one source explained. They emphasized that house arrest does not eliminate the threat.

A Muslim source, who has closely followed the situation with the Wahhaj family for months, was similarly shocked, especially the release of Jany Leveille, the second wife of Siraj Ibn Wahhaj.

“Jany Leveille, who they called ‘Maryam,’ was the ringleader of this cult. You could argue she’s the most dangerous one,” he said.

Even More Details from the Prosecutors

What makes the release of the cult members even more baffling is that the prosecutors’ case for holding the suspects, based on the facts of the case alone, was solid.

“The evidence as a whole says this family was on a mission, and a violent one,” said prosecutor Tim Hassan.

Prosecutors released even more evidence into the proceeding to illustrate the threat posed by letting these individuals out of jail.

  • One of the suspects wrote a letter to his brother telling him to move to the compound and die as a “martyr” (meaning in violent combat)
  • One of the children was found holding a gun. He saidSiraj Ibn Wahhaj had told him to hold it and prepare to fire it during the raid. Others were holding boxes of ammunition. The boys did not open fire because Siraj Ibn Wahhaj told them to stand down
  • As reported earlier, at least one of the children was trained to carry out a school shooting
  • Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj, the deceased 3-year-old disabled boy, died from being denied his medication and lost his life during an Islamic prayer session to expel the demons they believed were inside him. The children said the boy choked and foamed at the mouth during these sessions and died in February
  • An FBI agent testified that one of the children said they believed the deceased boy would resurrect as Jesus in about four months and then inform the compound residents of their specific targets. He mentioned law enforcement personnel, educational institutions, financial institutions and banks as potential targets
  • One of the women believed Abdul-Ghani was meant to be her child but was stolen from her by his mother using black magic. She claimed to be receiving messages from the Angel Gabriel
  • The children were being trained to kill teachers, members of law enforcement and other people associated with “corrupt” institutions they were told should be overthrown. They learned how to fire and speed-load guns, clear rooms and were schooled in various forms of tactical training. They were originally told it was for defending the compound. The kids were also taught to preach their ideology to others and to kidnap or murder those who rejected it
  • A book at the compound taught how to make an AR-style gun untraceable
  • Siraj Ibn Wahhaj took multiple firearms classes at the Atlanta Firearms Training Center in Georgia in 2015. He also took a mysterious trip to Saudi Arabia in 2017. He told his wife that he was ending their marriage upon his return
  • The guns at the compound included an AR-15, a pistol, a .308 sniper rifle, a 30/30 and a glock
  • Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said all five adults are refusing to cooperate with police
  • Although Lucas Morton did not open fire at law enforcement officials during the raid, he was “struggling” and “resisting” while being apprehended

How the Defense Defeated Common Sense

As is to be expected, the defense attorney for the five arrested extremists claimed they were the victims of discrimination against Muslims and blacks, arguing they may not have been arrested if they were white Christians.

The defense’s main argument was that there was no strong evidence of a specific terrorist plot, only aspirations. And somehow, that worked. The judge agreed that because the prosecutors could not lay out an actual plan, the threat wasn’t as high as they claimed. She also mentioned the defendants did not have a criminal history.

The lawyer also argued the fact that their guns were obtained legally, were found easily and not used to resist arrest shows they are not a threat to the community.

The defense also pointed out that Subhannah Wahhaj is seven months pregnant and there was no specific evidence linking her to violent activity. It was also argued that at least some of the women moved to New Mexico because of an unspecified threat to their safety. 

Conclusion

Four radical Islamic extremists—ones so radical that a typical radical describes them as an extremist cult—were released and now will be living among the residents of New Mexico.

As law enforcement personnel told us, the restrictions placed on them during house arrest are surmountable barriers, especially for jihadis willing to die for the cause and/or for someone who wants to avoid inevitable prison time.

Yes, the defendants will be monitored and intelligence will be gathered on them. But the defendants know this and have, in all probability, studied how to get around it.

Siraj Ibn Wahhaj may very well have learned these techniques through his security company in Georgia or through his father’s Islamist network.

While on house arrest, the defendants can communicate with one another and with others. They can have visitors. That means they can plan future action or even potentially escape. It is unlikely the authorities will have eyes inside their homes watching their movements, listening to their every word.

If this episode teaches us anything, it’s that the authorities are probably able to do much less than whatever you’re assuming.

In this, as in many cases, action obviously needed does not take place. Law enforcement authorities are either handcuffed by legal restrictions, bogged down by bureaucratic procedures, hampered by flaws in the system, deterred by political correctness, simply incompetent or lack resources. These factors don’t even account for the inevitable human error that happens in all complex operations.

Islamist extremists in America are watching this development, likely cheering the bewildering decision of this judge and encouraged by the weaknesses on display by the “Great Satan.”

Also see:

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NM Tragedy: Could the FBI Have Saved the Boy?

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, August 8, 2018:

The New Mexico authorities have announced heart-breaking news: The remains of a boy have been found at the Islamist compound that was raided on Friday.

It is almost certainly the body of disabled toddler Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj, who has been missing for nine months after being abducted by his father, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, and brought to the compound with 11 other malnourished children.

The day the remains were found would have been his fourth birthday.

The pain one experiences from reading the story is increased exponentially by a reality that is difficult to accept: The boy might have been saved if the FBI had acted, instead of stalling until the New Mexico police finally went in on their own.

The Beginning

Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj went missing on December 1, 2017, abducted by his father, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj. The boy’s mother, Hakeemah Ramzi, went to the police. The boy’s parents had been married for 15 years, according to press reports. It is unclear what sparked the sudden rift within the Wahhaj family.

Siraj Ibn Wahhaj attributed his son’s disabilities to demonic beings and believed that only an Islamic exorcism would expel the demons, a fact reported by the Clarion Intelligence Network’s sources before it was confirmed publicly in a search warrant.

The boy’s medication was left behind, putting him in peril. Sources say the rejection of medical treatment points to the fact that the ideology held by Wahhaj and his co-conspirators stems not from traditional Islamism but to a cultish fringe.

The kidnapper is the son of radical Imam Siraj Wahhaj in Brooklyn, one of the most powerful Islamic leaders in the country. He heads the Masjid at-Tawa mosque and the Muslim Alliance in North America, both of which have a long history of extremism and ties to terrorism, including weapons training and acquirement.

Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and his co-conspirators likely learned their skills in this regard through this Islamist network even if they later had a falling out with Imam Wahhaj and joined a more fringe cult-like movement. Clarion Intelligence Network has been providing information to the necessary authorities in this regard.

He had also set up a security-related company as a front.

The boy was seen with his father and other adults and children in Alabama on December 13 at the scene of a car accident. They told the police officer on the scene they were going to New Mexico to go camping.

The Compound is Discovered

Press reports indicate the compound was first set up in late December. It is still unknown exactly why and when the spot was chosen. Our law enforcement sources are certain there is a bigger story behind it.

Neighbors saw Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj at the compound in January and February.

A couple, Jason and Tanya Badger, went to the police in late April or early May once they did an internet search of Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and discovered he was a wanted a fugitive and the boy was missing.

Furthermore, the Badgers were involved in a property dispute with Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and his co-conspirators. According to the search warrant, Lucas “Luqman” Morton had purchased land nearby but accidentally built the compound on the Badgers’ land. The Badgers were trying to negotiate a land deal to settle the issue.

The Badgers gave permission to the FBI to search the compound, as it was on their own private property.

How the FBI Dropped the Ball

By early May, the FBI had strong evidence the fugitive believed to have the missing boy in custody was at the New Mexico compound. The legal owners of at least part of the land that the property was on had given permission for a search, making a “probable cause” standard for a search warrant unnecessary.

The FBI also knew this compound was inhabited by Islamist extremists and they were probably acquiring weapons. Our sources say there are indications they engaged in identity fraud and, most likely, other forms of fraud.

The FBI did not act decisively, even as the compound prepared for war and the children were in peril, especially the missing boy who was almost certainly there and whom the FBI knew was in desperate need of medication.

Yet instead of searching the property themselves, what did the FBI do?

They asked the neighbor, Jason Badger, to wear a hidden camera and risk his life by approaching an armed, Islamic extremist compound.

The FBI placed the compound under surveillance for at least two months before the raid, hoping to get a positive identification of the boy’s presence there—even though the extremists at the compound knew identification had to be prevented and had taken visible measures to make sure it didn’t happen.

The Badgers didn’t like the idea of having Islamist extremist neighbors who illegally squatted on their property. They filed a petition to have them evicted.

Their request for eviction—a very brazen move on the part of the Badgers—was rejected by a judge in June.

During an August 7 news conference, a reporter asked why that wasn’t enough for the authorities to go in. The police spokesperson said it was a civil matter and not grounds for a search warrant. The extremists and starving children got to stay.

The trigger for the raid was when the New Mexico police were provided a message by the authorities in Georgia.

A message had come out of the compound. It said the children were starving and they needed food and water.

The New Mexico authorities decided to go in on their own search warrant.

The Raid

The bravery shown by the New Mexico police — who were moved to save the children – can only be imaged.

The compound is on 10 acres of land in the middle of nowhere, making impossible any element of surprise. The police involved in the raid knew there was an enormous chance of a deadly shootout which could have incurred multiple casualties on the part of the police officers.

Sources aware of the investigation described the property as essentially a “training camp” with a shooting range. Neighbors had reported hearing gunfire consistently over the months. The camp looked like it was a compilation of trash, but close observation showed that it was not the handiwork of amateurs.

Tires formed a defensive perimeter. A trailer was half-buried and covered in plastic to stop outsiders from seeing what was going on inside. Various measures had been taken to detect “visitors” and impede an expected raid — wood with nails sticking out it and shattered glass were scattered on the property to alert residents of any intruders.

“It had to be a search warrant and a tactical approach to our own security, because we had learned that the inmates were most likely heavily armed and regarded as extremist of the Muslim faith,” an official from the Taos County Sheriff’s Office explained.

The two men, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and Lucas Morten, initially did not comply with police orders.

Somehow, they were compelled—or forced—to surrender.

Siraj Ibn Wahhaj had a loaded firearm on him when he was “taken down.”

Between the two of them, they had an AR-15 rifle, four loaded pistols and five loaded 30-round magazines, at the very least. They were obviously preparing to violently resist.

Footage of a walk through the compound shows the Islamist extremists were gearing up for a protracted battle.

Authorities found a 150-foot tunnel with cutouts where sleeping bags were stored so they could hide underground. There was a ladder and a hidden exit outside of Morton’s property for escape.

All told, it was a miracle that a Waco-like shootout did not commence during the raid which occurred on Friday, August 3, 2018.

In sum, five people were arrested and 11 children were rescued. Their condition was likened to that of refugees from a Third World country. Their ribs could be seen because they hadn’t eaten. The police gave them whatever water and snacks they had on them at the time.

The children reportedly appeared “brainwashed” and in great fear.

One boy remained still missing. On Monday, during a follow-up search, a corpse, likely that of the boy, was found.

Shocking Discovery of the Neighbors Post-Raid

The New Mexico police said they searched the compound as best they could with their limited resources.

On Sunday, about two days after the raid on Friday, the Badgers went into the compound to look around. They were shocked by what they found left behind.

The police had failed to seize guns, video cameras, a laptop computer and a tactical vest.

These are key items for prosecution and intelligence; ones that an unidentified co-conspirator would love to have retrieved after the ending of a search. Yet, they were left behind.

Conclusion

While the ultimate responsibility for the death and any injuries lies with the adults responsible, with a look at the information that is currently being reported, it is hard not to wonder what the FBI was waiting for.

We do not know when the boy died, assuming the body that was found was his. Yet, whether quicker, more decisive action could have saved his life is a question that must be answered.

And if the FBI felt it couldn’t act in this situation, then what other dangerous situations with even less evidence aren’t being handled decisively?

What would have stopped the compound leaders from carrying out an attack, abusing the children even more seriously, or deciding to end their lives in a manner reminiscent of Jim Jones or the Branch Davidians at Waco?

If the FBI’s standard for action requires evidence and danger even greater than what was known about the New Mexico compound, then its standard must change.

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Clarion’s Shillman Fellow and Clarion Intelligence Network Director Ryan Mauro explains how we worked hand in hand with authorities investigating a New Mexico Islamist compound.

Reports suggest children kept in the compound were being trained to stage school shootings.

Here’s more from Ryan:

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