Graduating from the jihad school

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A few days ago, the authorities have botched the child neglect case against three out of five adults in the New Mexico compound where eleven children were allegedly being trained to commit school shootings and other acts of terror. Judge Emilio Chavez was forced to dismiss the charges after “prosecutors missed a 10-day limit for an evidentiary hearing to establish probable cause for the neglect charges”. The other two, the compound’s leader, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, and his partner Jany Leveille, pleaded not guilty to charges of child abuse resulting in death, relating to the fate of their disables 3-year old son, who is said to have died during an exorcism ritual and was buried on the grounds.

Now, however, things seem to be returning to normal in this bizarre case, where all five accused were initially released on bail and the compound itself bulldozed by the authorities, with the adults being re-arrested on Friday by the FBI on firearms and conspiracy charges.

A 13-year-old boy who was part of group taken into custody at a squalid New Mexico compound last month has told FBI agents his mother’s boyfriend was training him to conduct “jihad” against non-believers, according to federal court documents…

In an affidavit filed in support of a criminal complaint, an FBI special agent wrote that Leveille’s 13-year-old son told investigators that his mother’s boyfriend, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 40, wanted to “get an army together” and train them for jihad.

The boy told agents that Ibn Wahhaj trained him and another of Leveille’s teenage sons in firearms and military techniques, including rapid reloads and hand-to-hand combat, and told them jihad meant killing non-believers on behalf of Allah, according to the affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in New Mexico.

The 13-year-old also told the FBI that his mother believed she received messages from God, and that he watched her and Ibn Wahhaj perform supposed “exorcism” rituals over the three-year-old boy, including one during which the boy choked and his heart stopped, according to the special agent’s affidavit.
The teenager said his mother and others at the compound told him not to talk to anyone about the three-year-old ever being at the compound because they would “all go to jail.”

Defense lawyers have said that the five adults were exercising their constitutional rights to practice their religion and own firearms, and that the group is being discriminated against because they are black and Muslim. The defense attorneys could not immediately be reached for comment on Saturday.

The five defendants came under FBI surveillance in May after Leveille wrote a letter to Ibn Wahhaj’s brother asking him to join them and become a “martyr,” state prosecutors have said.

Constitutional rights, needless to say, don’t extend to waging jihad against the unbelievers. Which the authorities will have to demonstrate was the case here – until then innocent until proven guilty.

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