Against the wishes of the Taos County sheriff, undersheriff, prosecutors and the FBI, Judge Sarah Backus ordered all five suspects arrested in the raid of the New Mexico compound, released.

Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 40, Lucas Morton, 40, Jany Leveille, 35, Hujrah Wahhaj, 37, and Subhannah Wahhaj, 35 were arrested on child abuse charges. The eleven children in the compound were taken into state custody. All were substantially malnourished, kept in rags, and had no access to clean water.

According to CBS News, Wahhaj, “Wahhaj is the son of a Brooklyn imam who was a possible co-conspirator in the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 — but was never charged.”

According to ABC News, the suspects were “released on $20,000 bond each on Monday evening and ordered them to wear ankle monitors until trial, the Taos County Sheriff’s Office announced.”

Police discovered the decrepit compound, located near the Colorado state line, while searching for Wahhaj’s 4-year-old son, Abdul, but he was not there. His mother reported him missing late last year and claimed his father kidnapped him.

Investigators found the malnourished children, ages 1 to 15, barefoot and wearing “rags for clothing,” according to a complaint. Authorities recovered the buried remains of a young boy during a subsequent search of the compound on Aug. 9.

For our previous coverage of this story, see here.


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