Last week five alleged Muslim extremists were arrested after authorities made the shocking discovery that they were training children to commit school shootings on a New Mexico compound. The children were also found to be starving and exhibited signs of extreme physical abuse.
Defendants, from left, Jany Leveille, Lucas Morton, Siraj Wahhaj and Subbannah Wahhaj enter district court in Taos, N.M., for a detention hearing, Monday, Aug. 13, 2018. Several defendants have been charged with child abuse stemming from the alleged neglect of 11 children found living on a squalid compound on the outskirts of tiny Amalia, New Mexico. (Roberto E. Rosales/The Albuquerque Journal via AP, Pool)
Ringleader Siraj Wahhaj is not only the son of a prominent imam with connections to the World Trade Center bombing but has also been wanted in connection with the kidnapping of his 4-year-old son from Georgia last year. Human remains were found at the compound but authorities have yet to identify them.
In a stunning turn of events, Wahhaj and four other defendants – Hujrah Wahhaj, Jany Leveille, Subhannah Wahhaj, and Lucas Morten – were released on bail Monday by a New Mexico judge. Despite the discovery of human remains, squalid living conditions and the torture and starvation of children who were also being trained to commit mass murder, Judge Sarah Backus granted the group release on a $20,000 signature bond which does not require payment unless a defendant violates the terms of their release. In short, they got a “get out of jail free” card.
In coming to her decision, Judge Backus wrote that the State of New Mexico “apparently expected the court to take the individuals’ faith into account” in determining whether or not the defendants were a danger to the community.
“The defendants are apparently of the Muslim faith,” read the order. “The Court was asked by the State to make a finding of dangerousness and a finding of no conditions of release could ensure the safety of the community. The State apparently expected the court to take the individuals’ faith into account in making such a determination. The Court has never been asked to take any other person’s faith into account in making a determination of dangerousness. The Court is not aware of any law that allows the Court to take a person’s faith into consideration in making a dangerousness determination.”“The state alleges there was a big plan afoot but the state has not shown to my satisfaction by clear and convincing evidence what in fact that plan was,” Backus said Monday, CNN reported. “The state wants me to make a leap and it’s a large leap and that would be to hold people in jail without bond based on — again — troubling facts but I didn’t hear any choate plan that was being alleged by the state.”
Here’s part of the judge’s order denying the prosecutors’ motion to deny bail to the #NewMexicoCompound adults.
— Ryan Mauro (@ryanmauro) August 14, 2018
The mainstream media has been largely silent on this stunning case, for reasons that seem obvious. Had Wahhaj been an NRA member or a Trump supporter the coverage would be wall-to-wall. That’s not too surprising considering the state of the media these days, but we do expect more from our judicial representatives.
If being caught starving and beating children (and potentially murdering at least one child) while teaching them how to use automatic weapons to murder other children doesn’t present a “danger to the community” it is hard to imagine what does.