Prosecutors say a boy in New Mexico died in a ritual ceremony

Andrew Hay

TAOS, NM (Reuters). A 3-year-old boy, whose remains were found buried in the desert of New Mexico, died during the "exorcism" ritual, other children living there told investigators, the prosecutor said in court Monday.

Authorities discovered remains on a dilapidated junction north of Taos, where 11 more children were found alive, but were undernourished as a result of the raid on the site 10 days ago.

The prosecutor said during the trial for five adults arrested on charges of abusing 11 children that they were trained to use weapons and defend the compound in the event of an FBI raid. The hearing was to ask the judge to refuse bail on the suspect.

Adults, including three women who, according to police, were mothers of 11 children, were charged with 11 charges of serious crimes. Prosecutors said during the arrests that Lucas Morton, Subhanna Wahhay, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and other women are teaching children to use firearms to commit school shootings.

Siraj Ibn Wahhai, 39, and the son of a prominent New York Muslim cleric, were also accused of alleged kidnapping of his son Abdul Ghani from his mother's home in Atlanta last December.

The cross-country search for the missing boy and his father led investigators into a 10-acre complex on the outskirts of the Amalie community near the border with Colorado.

Children, aged 1 to 15, were dressed in rags and starving when they were found on August 3, the authorities said. The remnants of the young boy, who is believed to have been Abdul-Ghani, were found buried in place three days later.

Authorities faced Ibn Wahhay, Leveil and seven children last December when they were in a traffic accident in Georgia, and the police discovered weapons in a vehicle, including pistols, rifles and ammunition rifles AR-15, the District Attorney Taos John Lovelace.

According to Lovelace, Ibn Vahhaj told the police at the time that he had guns because he worked in the security field in the security sector and that he was going on a campaign in New Mexico.

Talking about what the children said about the death of Abdul Ghani Wahhaj, Lovelace said: "It was a religious ritual performed on Abdul Ghani, a ritual designed to drive out the demonic spirits from Abdul Ghani Wahhadj."

During a hearing on Monday, Taos District Attorney Timothy Hasson said that Siraj Ibn Wahhai had sent a letter to his brother, which was "an invitation to join and persecute his intention to become a martyr."

He added: "In the 21st century, I think that we all know what that means."

(Andrew Haye's Report in Taos, Alex Dobuzinskis Record Editing by Robert Birzel and Tom Brown)

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