After a three-week trial, a federal jury found Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and some of his family members guilty in a horrific case that shocked the country. The convictions are linked to a troubling series of incidents that included a scheme to carry out terrorist attacks against the United States government and the tragic murder of a 3-year-old Georgia child on a secluded location in New Mexico.
The convictions of Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and his brother-in-law, Lucas Morton, included conspiracy to murder a U.S. official or employee and conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. Hujrah and Subhanah Wahhaj, Wahhaj’s sisters, were found guilty of both conspiring to perpetrate and actually carrying out a murderous kidnapping. For the same crimes, Morton was found guilty twice before.
Jany Leveille, the fifth defendant, entered a guilty plea to two counts of conspiracy to give material support to terrorists and possession of a handgun while in the United States illegally as part of a plea deal.
Abdul Ghani Wahhaj, a 3-year-old kid with cognitive and developmental disabilities, vanished from sight in December 2017 when his father took him to a park. This marked the start of a troubling sequence of events. Eventually, the child’s bones were discovered in a distant location in New Mexico.
After getting a communication from someone within the site indicating a critical need for food and water, authorities were able to locate the compound. When they arrived on the scene, they discovered several loaded pistols nearby and eleven kids without access to food or clean water. Abdul Ghani’s body was found in a room within a tunnel, and it appeared to have been buried ritualistically based on its state.
The youngster was kidnapped from Georgia and taken to New Mexico, according to information released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. There, under the impression that the boy was possessed by demons, they denied him access to essential anti-seizure medicine and performed daily alleged spiritual exorcisms on him.
Leveille was essential in persuading the group that Abdul Ghani would come in the guise of Jesus Christ and judge organisations like as the FBI, the military, and other governmental and financial establishments that they considered to be corrupt. Because of this conviction, a firing range and a fortified base were built, equipped with a variety of weapons such as assault rifles, large capacity magazines, and bullet rounds.
With the intention of confronting the country and eradicating individuals who did not share their ideas, the gang trained tactically and acquired weapons. They even spoke of becoming martyrs and waging jihad.
Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Raul Bujanda stressed that the defendants’ conduct, especially the kidnapping that resulted in the murder of a child, were unacceptable, notwithstanding the defendants’ claims that they were unfairly targeted because of their Muslim beliefs. The convictions carry the possibility of hefty jail terms, ranging from life imprisonment for some to 17 years for others; a sentencing date has not yet been set.
This unfortunate example serves as a sobering reminder of how crucial it is to maintain vigilanteness in order to protect communities and children from violent extremist ideas. Call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453 if you believe there has been child abuse or if you need assistance. You may also visit www.childhelp.org. The hotline provides toll-free and private help and is open around-the-clock in over 170 languages.