Taos County Compound Released On Bail By Judge, Saying Starving Kids ‘Living In a Very Unconventional Way’
A New Mexico judge says that prosecutors have failed to provide enough evidence to back up their claims that several members of a New Mexico compound, where 11 malnourished children and a dead child’s remains were found by police, are a threat to society.
The defense argued that if they were “white Christians” rather than “black muslims,” the scrutiny on their compound would be less.
In other words, identity politics just trumped a dead child, 11 starving other children, kidnapping, and a plan to rid demons from a 3-year-old hatched after a visit to Saudi Arabia.
The five adults, or leaders of the compound, have been released from jail.
The decision was finalized after several hours in the Taos District Court.
Prosecutors have described a compound that’s unsanitary and a training ground for a child militia.
During “safe interviews,” the children claim they were taught to use “assault rifles” for the purposes of protecting the compound from exterior threats. It isn’t illegal to teach a child to shoot a firearm, something the defense team noted during arguments.
A number of weapons and ammo were found in tunnels at the compound. Books that teach how to construct homemade firearms were also found. Children that were starving, as well, were found.
Eyewitnesses and sketch drawings were used to back up the Prosecutions arguments that had hoped to demonstrate the compound as a threat to the community, but the Judge felt the argument came up short.
When investigators showed up and presented the search warrant, one of the compound’s leaders, Siraj Wahhaj, was holding an AR rifle while children held on to ammunition.
Judge Sarah Backus set bond at $20,000 for each adult and have ordered them to wear ankle monitors.
“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 — although if you have lived in northern New Mexico for any period of time you are aware that many people here live in unconventional ways,” Judge Sarah Backus said.
The Judge felt that there was nothing to support the compound’s alleged plans to attack any Federal agencies.
“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 defense team felt it was a win for religious freedom.
If any of this sounds reminiscent of Waco, that’s because it seems that way. However, the Taos County compound situation is ripe with the complex additional layer of identity politics.
So in some ways, this is likely heading in a far worse direction.
The prosecution wanted to paint a picture of a violent, anti-government group that’s likely planning to go to war with Federal agents. The argument failed to demonstrate such to Judge Backus, but that doesn’t mean the region, or the judge, is any less concerned over the matter.
Ever since the failure of Waco, judges and Federal agencies are particularly gentle in how they handle potential “compound threats” for fear of public fall out.
But now, the new layer of identity politics is seemingly influencing matters as well.
The compound family is originally from Georgia, they moved to New Mexico with aspirations in training their children to use firearms.
One child, Abdul-Ghani, died during a religious ceremony that was intended to rid the child of demonic spirits. The child was supposed to die and return to earth as Jesus and then tell the compound which institutions were threats that need be eliminated. Anyone who didn’t fully believe the message would be imprisoned or even killed.
The ritual was inspired by Siraj Wahhaj’s trip to Saudi Arabia. The child reportedly had an issue with seizures and Wahhaj’s trip to the middle east inspired him to remove the child from anti-seizure medications and perform the ritual and cleans the demons. And of course, Abdul would later return as Jesus and help carve out some anti-government-agency warfare planning.
Police in Georgia claim Siraj Wahhaj abducted the child from his mother.
Ghani’s father is wanted in Georgia for the alleged abduction of Abdul is why the New Mexico compound was originally raided on August 3rd.
During the raid, the acting Sherrif described the group as “extremist of the Muslim belief.” He later had to make clarifications in the matter and explain he wasn’t attempting to create violence by using such a descriptor. But that’s now driving a new complexity in the case, a complexity that the defense team plans to utilize throughout the remainder of the case (at least if Monday’s proceedings provide insight into the future).
Identity Politics Will Be Highly Influential
Identity politics are now on the table for all arguments and counter-arguments and objections and jury selection proceedings. In other words, it’s going to be a mess.
“If these were white people of a Christian faith who owned guns, that’s not a big deal because there’s a Second Amendment right to own firearms in this country. If these were white Christians, faith healing is of no consequence because we have freedom of religion in this country. But they look different and they worship differently from the rest of us,” Thomas Clark, the lawyer for Siraj Wahhaj, said during the proceedings.
“When black Muslims do it there seems to be something nefarious, something evil,” he continued outside the court.
When identity politics enters into the legal realm, logic and reasoning are commonly lost.
Judges, lawyers, and even jurors will now be put in the position of handling a legal proceeding with kid gloves. The defense will see to it that identity politics continues to be a driving force throughout the case.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.