The New Mexico Terrorist Group Case: An Insane Story Getting Little Attention


One of the most bizarre and troubling stories of the entire year is not getting the mainstream media coverage it deserves.

Five adults arrested at a remote compound in New Mexico where eleven malnourished children were rescued are accused of training the children to carry out school shootings. The buried body of a three-year-old boy was also found, who is alleged to have died in an “exorcism”-type ritual because of his father’s failure to treat him with medication for a severe illness they were aware of.

According to court documents filed at a bail hearing last month, the group had plans to target a specific hospital in Atlanta where one of the defendants and her mother had previously received treatment.

Here is one of CNN’s few headlines covering the insane case:

This is about the level of coverage most of the mainstream media are giving the story.

The story first broke in early August, and Australia’s ABC wrote an initial article almost a month ago on August 9. Despite having an entire US Bureau (thanks aussie taxpayers), they sought not to cover any further. They also decided not to mention the part where three of the accused are the son and daughters of an unindicted co-conspirator of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Even domestically in the US, ABC, CBS and NBC all sought to downplay any talk of this being an organised Islamic terrorist group.

Defence attorneys even said prosecutors sought to criminalise their clients for being African-Americans of Muslim faith.

“If these people were white and Christian, nobody would bat an eye over the idea of faith healing, or praying over a body or touching a body and quoting scripture,” defence lawyer Thomas Clark told reporters after the hearing. “But when black Muslims do it, there seems to be something nefarious, something evil.”

‘It’, let us remember, refers to;

  • Five adults arrested in a compound in New Mexico, accused of training children to become school shooters.
  • Large number of weapons recovered.
  • Evidence of specific plans to commit a terror attack on a specific hospital.
  • Eleven malnourished and neglected children rescued.
  • The buried body of a 3-year old who apparently died during an “exorcism” ceremony found.
  • Among the arrested are the son and two daughters of a New York imam who is an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing. (also happens to be Linda Sarsour’s mentor.)

If a group of white American Christians with links to actual terrorists were training several malnourished children to be domestic terrorists in the desert and let a severely ill 3-year-old die by trying to perform an exorcism instead of treating him, that would have become a worldwide talking point.

In fact, the group were granted conditional bail. The Judge said prosecutors failed to articulate any specific threats or plan against the community, despite providing concerning information.

“What I’ve heard here today is troubling, definitely. Troubling facts about numerous children in far from ideal circumstances and individuals who are living in a very unconventional way,” Backus said.

“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. “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.”

Just days after being granted bail, the defendants were released as charges were dropped on a technicality. As The Independent reported:

“Judge Emilio Chavez said he had no choice but to release the three defendants, Lucas Morton, Hujrah Wahhaj and Subhannah A. Wahhaj, because the office of District Attorney Donald Gallegos failed to schedule a court hearing to prove they had probable cause for their arrest within 10 days, as state rules stipulate, according to court representatives and defence lawyers. 

Another judge later ruled that charges also be dropped against the other two remaining defendants, Siraj Wahhaj and Jany Leveille, according to Ryan Laughlin, a reporter for the local television station KOB, but the status of their potential release is less clear as they were immediately charged again with more severe charges of child abuse resulting in death.”

Thankfully, the FBI quickly intervened and arrested the group on federal charges. They appeared in court two days ago, and prosecutors are expected to bring the case before a grand jury September 27.


This article originally appeared on Pop and Locke.

Pop and Locke is a libertarian-traditionalist popular culture and politics blog bringing you news, opinions, analysis and reviews that cut through the mainstream mould. It was inspired by an appreciation for Western political and philosophical tradition and a fascination with our increasingly wacky popular culture.

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