Feds bring terrorism charges against suspects in New Mexico compound case

Feds bring terrorism charges against suspects in New Mexico compound case

The Justice Department on Thursday announced terrorism charges against five people arrested at a New Mexico compound last year alongside a large quantity of guns and ammunition.

DOJ officials said in a press release that Jany Leveille, 36, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 40, Hujrah Wahhaj, 38, Subhanah Wahhaj, 36, and Lucas Morton, 41, would be charged with terrorism, kidnapping, and federal firearms offenses in addition to conspiracy charges the five are already facing.

ADVERTISEMENT

Assistant Attorney General John Demers said at a news conference Thursday that the five were plotting to carry out attacks on federal law enforcement officials and military service members, among others. Prosecutors in New Mexico had previously accused the suspects of planning attacks against schools and officials they deemed to be "corrupt."

“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,” said Demers, according to the news release.

“Advancing beliefs through terror and violence has no place in America, and the National Security Division continues to make protecting against terrorism its top priority," he added.

Eleven children and the decomposing body of a twelfth child were also discovered at the ramshackle desert compound in New Mexico last year, and the five are accused of child abuse and neglect at the state level.

Prosecutors believe the defendants, who are all Muslim, denied the dead child anti-seizure medication.

“During this lengthy and complex investigation, the safety of the community as well as that of the children at the Amalia compound has been our priority,” said the FBI's special agent in charge of the operation, James Langenberg. “Cases such as these sometimes take a while, but the FBI will never give up until justice is done.”