New Mexico, Aug 14: A minor was killed in a ritualistic act in order to ‘cast out demonic spirits’ in New Mexico on Monday. The three-year-old identified as Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj was found buried at a New Mexico desert compound. Reportedly, relatives of the minor believed that the spirit of the dead would return as Jesus to direct the group in carrying out school shootings. Prosecutors alleged exorcism-like ritual along with weapons training being imparted to children. At least five adults have been charged with child abuse. Also Read - Uttar Pradesh: Class 4 Student Brutally Stabbed, Throat Slit in Madarsa
References to martyrdom and conspiracy were also given by the prosecutors. However, state district judge Sarah Backus said that the adults being tried were not a danger to the community and set a bail at USD 20,000 for each of the accused. Also Read - Microsoft pledges USD 500 mn to ease local housing crunch
The principal suspect, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj has been charged with abducting his three-year-old son, Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj, from the Atlanta home of the boy’s mother last December. While 11 counts of felony child abuse have been filed against each of the defendants – Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and his wife, Jany Leveille, along with his brother-in-law and sister – Lucas Morton and Subhannah Wahhaj – and a second sister, Hujrah Wahhaj. Also Read - CBP orders medical checks after second child's death
FBI’s Travis Taylor said the family believed that prospective targets would include the financial system, law enforcement and the education system. Prosecutor John Lovelace said, “They were waiting for Abdul-Ghani to be resurrected to let them know which government institutions to get rid of.”
Eleven children, ranging from one to 15 years old and described by authorities as starving and ragged, were placed in protective custody after the August 3 raid.
Meanwhile, defence lawyer Thomas Clark, representing Ibn Wahhaj, said that prosecutors alleged that they were applying a double standard to his client because of his Muslim faith. Clark added, “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.” He said that it was always seen as a problem when black Muslims do it.