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Press Release

Five New Mexico Compound Defendants Sentenced to Life in Prison in Connection with Kidnapping and Terrorism Plot

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A federal judge in New Mexico today sentenced five defendants: Jany Leveille, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, his sisters Hujrah Wahhaj and Subhanah Wahhaj, and Subhanah’s husband, Lucas Morton. Siraj, Hujrah and Subhanah Wahhaj, and Lucas Morton were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Per the terms of her plea agreement, Leveille was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Upon her release from prison, Leveille will enter removal proceedings.

On Oct. 17, 2023, after a three-week trial, a federal jury convicted Siraj Wahhaj and Lucas Morton of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, providing material support to terrorists and conspiracy to murder an officer or employee of the United States. Hujrah Wahhaj, Subhanah Wahhaj and Lucas Morton were additionally convicted of conspiracy to commit kidnapping resulting in death and kidnapping resulting in death. Jany Leveille pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and being in possession of a firearm while unlawfully in the United States on Aug. 8, 2023.

According to publicly available court records, in December 2017, the group, led by Leveille, abducted Siraj Wahhaj’s three-year-old son, Abdul Ghani, from his mother in Georgia and transported him to a remote property in Amalia, New Mexico. The group intended to use the child as a prop in a plan to rid the world of purportedly corrupt institutions, including the FBI, CIA, and U.S. military, and to kill those who did not convert and follow Leveille. The planning and training for this conspiracy took place at a heavily fortified, purpose-built, militarized compound in Amalia.

After Abdul Ghani died at the compound, Leveille prophesized, and the rest of the group believed, that Abdul Ghani was going to resurrect on Easter, which was April 1, 2018, and that he would lead the group to face society and kill those who did not join them. In response, the group’s firearms and tactical training ramped up in frequency, intensity, and complexity in anticipation of the Easter resurrection. When Abdul Ghani did not resurrect on Easter, Leveille began to talk about him returning around the time of his birthday (Aug. 6, 2018) or as Subhanah Wahhaj’s soon-to-be born child.

On Aug. 3, 2018, the Taos County Sheriff’s Office’s Tactical SRT Unit integrated with agents from New Mexico Office of the Superintendent of Insurance and executed warrants on the heavily fortified compound. SRT was able to secure the compound and the suspects without incident or a single shot fired. Additionally, the children in the compound were secured and safely turned over to child welfare authorities. While clearing the compound, weapons, ammunition, and training documents were discovered confirming intelligence that had been received. During a subsequent search of the compound on Aug. 6, 2018, Abdul Ghani’s birthday, law enforcement located the remains of Abdul Ghani in an underground tunnel. The investigation found Abdul died on Christmas Eve, 2017, before anyone was aware the group was in New Mexico.

The FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, the Taos County Sheriff’s Office, NM Office of the Superintendent of Insurance, and the 8th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kimberly Brawley and Tavo Hall for the District of New Mexico and Trial Attorneys Jessica Joyce and George Kraehe of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section prosecuted the case.

Updated March 6, 2024

Press Release Number: 24-260