A district judge in New Mexico has dropped charges today against three people who were linked to a compound where would be terrorists kept starving children and were allegedly planning to carry out attacks. The suspected terrorists have been released on bail into the community.
District Judge Emilio Chavez dismissed charges against three of five defendants, citing the New Mexico state “10-day rule.” The ACLU had advocated for the action.
Lucas Morton, Subhannah Wahhaj, and Hujrah Wahhaj were facing child abuse charges in the case. Prosecutors missed the 10-day mark for an evidentiary hearing to establish probable cause against the suspects, and the charges were dropped, the report said.
The judge added that it is very difficult decision to drop the charges, but he said the state’s rule left him with no option. Prosecutors had said there could have been a work-around to give them more time.
Judge Chavez, a liberal Democrat, has been criticized in the past over rulings that seemed to defy justice. He was also reprimanded by the New Mexico Supreme Court for abuse of power in 2016.
Prosecutors can still seek charges for the suspects by going to a grand jury to indict them but offered no immediate indication on what they are planning to do, The Associated Press reported.
Charges against Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and Jany Leveille, the two other suspects, remain.
Health officials confirmed in early August that remains were found on the property, and they belonged to a missing 3-year-old boy from Georgia.
Wahhaj, the child’s father, and Leveille received charges on Aug. 24 of abuse of a child resulting in the death of a child and conspiracy to commit abuse of a child, Fox reported, citing Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe.
Leveille Wahhaj wanted to confront and attack “corrupt” institutions, including the Atlanta hospital, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Aug. 26.
“A specific ‘corrupt’ institution named by one of the children was Grady Hospital,” according to a court document.
Meanwhile, the children on the compound told police that Leveille “intended to confront ‘corrupt’ institutions or individuals, the military, big businesses, CIA, teachers/schools, and reveal the ‘truth’ to these corrupt institutions or individuals,” the document said, CNN reported. There was an emphasis on how the children would infiltrate public schools to carryout a large-scale terrorist attack against students.
The couple planned to “shoot or otherwise attack” individuals they failed to persuade with their “message,” the court documents said, the paper reported.
CNN reported that a document found on the property was titled, “Phases of a Terrorist Attack,” which had instructions for ‘The one-time terrorist,’ instructions on the use of a ‘choke point,’ a location ‘called the ideal attack site,’ the ‘ability to defend the safe haven,’ the ‘ability to escape-perimeter rings,’ and ‘sniper position detection procedure,’” according to the court filing.
Several children who lived at the compound told police that Morten allegedly “stated he wished to die in Jihad, as a martyr,” prosecutors said. “At times, Jany Leveille would laugh and joke about dying in Jihad as would Subhanna Wahhaj,” said the court document.
The FBI, currently under scrutiny by the Trump administration for illegal actions concerning investigations, missed many of the tell-tale signs of the terrorists living in the desert of New Mexico. Inexplicably, soon after the alleged terrorist ring was busted and the remains of the dead child discovered, they had the area bulldozed raising concerns that crucial evidence was being destroyed.