The residents of a makeshift New Mexico compound — where 11 emaciated children were found during an August raid — were charged by federal authorities Wednesday with terror, kidnapping and firearms offenses.
“The indictment alleges that the defendants conspired to provide material support in preparation for violent attacks against federal law enforcement officers and members of the military,” Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers for the Department of Justice’s National Security Division said.
Jany Leveille, 36, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 40, Hurjah Wahhaj, 38, Subhanah Wahhaj, 36 and Lucas Morton, 41, were charged “with federal offenses related to terrorism, kidnapping and firearms violations,” the Department of Justice said in a press release. In the original indictment, Leveille was also charged with “possessing firearms and ammunition as an alien illegally and unlawfully in the United States.”
The suspects were previously charged by indictment on Sept. 11 “with a conspiracy relating to the possession of firearms and ammunition by an alien illegally and unlawfully in the United States,” the DOJ said.
“The superseding indictment alleges a conspiracy to stage deadly attacks on American soil,” U.S. Attorney John C. Anderson said in a statement. “These allegations remind us of the dangers of terrorism that continue to confront our nation, and the allegation concerning the death of a young child only underscores the importance of prompt and effective intervention by law enforcement. I commend our law enforcement partners for their ongoing diligence and outstanding work in identifying and disabling imminent threats of targeted violence.”
The five suspects were arrested by authorities after an Aug. 3 raid following a monthslong inquiry into the disappearance of Abdul-ghani Wahhaj, 3. The boy, who had severe medical issues, disappeared from Georgia in December. The occupants of the compound were “most likely heavily armed and considered extremist of the Muslim belief,” an official said at the time.
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