Wednesday, August 15, 2018 by Vicki Batts
Five adults suspected of Islamic extremism, who were found on a compound in New Mexico with 11 starving children, have just been released by Taos County Judge Sarah Backus. Authorities allege that in addition to killing a three-year-old child during a religious ritual, the group of adults were training the children to be school shooters, teaching them how to use guns and tactics for killing teachers.
Despite the adults’ involvement in the death of a toddler, the starvation of 11 other children and their plan to teach the kids to be school shooters, Judge Backus claims that the state did not provide enough evidence to show the group of adults were a threat to the community. Backus declared, “The state alleges that there was a big plan afoot, but the state hasn’t shown to my satisfaction, by clear and convincing evidence, what that plan was.”
Prosecutors and law enforcement officials argued there was a “substantial likelihood” that the adults may go on to commit new crimes if released.
Prosecutor Timothy Hasson filed the court documents and asked that one of the adults, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, be held without bail.
“He poses a great danger to the children found on the property as well as a threat to the community as a whole due to the presence of firearms and his intent to use these firearms in a violent and illegal manner,” Hasson noted.
Backus ultimately denied this request, but did put forth several restrictions on their release: Each suspect has a $20,000 bond, must avoid alcohol consumption, wear a GPS tracker, stay in the county and maintain weekly contact with their attorneys. They are also not allowed to possess weapons.
The judge’s decision incited mass outrage — and for good reason. Not only did these people kill a child, they are accused of running a terrorist training camp. How is that not a threat to the community?
Siraj Ibn Wahhaj is the son of Siraj Wahhaj — a man on a list of people who “may be alleged co-conspirators” in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The elder Wahhaj also reportedly “testified as a character witness for Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the notorious ‘blind sheikh’ who was convicted in 1995 of plotting terror attacks in the U.S.”
The outraged public has called Backus “an Islamic terrorist sympathizer.” (Related: Facebook now banning independent journalists who dare to ask questions of Jihadi congressional candidates.)
It has been reported that the deceased toddler found at the compound was Siraj Ibn Wahhaj’s missing three-year-old son, Abdul Ghani. Abdul Ghani was reported missing from Georgia in December. According to an arrest warrant, the boy’s mother says Wahhaj wanted to perform an exorcism on the toddler, believing he was possessed by the devil. The father later claimed he was taking Abdul Ghani to a park, but they never returned home.
The warrant states further that Abdul Ghani had a health condition and that his mother said the child couldn’t walk and needed constant care.
Taos County Prosecutor John Lovelace commented, “Some of the children have stated these ritual were intended to cast out demonic spirits from Abdul Ghani’s body. All five defendants knew about these rituals.”
Public defenders argue the boy’s father was trying to heal the child with readings from the Koran, but authorities say the boy was denied access to needed medications. Investigators say the children found at the site were told that Abdul Ghani would be resurrected and guide them on which “corrupt institutions” they should attack.
The 11 rescued children also told officials they were taught how to use fire arms and clear rooms in case authorities showed up. Law enforcement says one of the children was armed when they arrived on scene. Authorities say the kids were living in a half-buried trailer home, littered with shell casings, gun manuals, books written in Arabic and broken toys.
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