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New Mexico Compound Suspects Eyed Atlanta Hospital In Terror Strike, Prosecutors Say
The group had hoped to "corrupt" American institutions with their message — and kill those who would not be persuaded.
The adults overseeing children at a squalid New Mexico compound had discussed attacking "corrupt" institutions, including a major metropolitan hospital, prosecutors say.
The latest details about the potential terror targets, including Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, were revealed in court documents Friday as prosecutors pushed for a judge to reconsider her decision to grant bond to all five adults arrested in the case, CNN reported.
Authorities also found a handwritten document at the site, entitled "Phases of a Terrorist Attack," with a cache of weapons and ammunition hidden underneath the makeshift compound, new court documents said.
"Phases of a Terrorist Attack" outlined specific instructions for "The one-time terrorist" with details including finding an ideal attack site, escaping perimeter rings and detecting sniper's positions, according to CNN.
Law enforcement authorities discovered the body of 3-year-old Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj earlier this month after raiding the remote location, which prosecutors had labeled a "school-shooter training ground."
Earlier this month, District Judge Sarah Backus set bail at $20,000 for the five defendants in the case after she said the state failed to show "clear and convincing evidence" about what plans the group had in place, Reuters reported at the time. All five defendants are charged with child abuse after investigators found 11 children at the compound living in filthy conditions without electricity, water or plumbing.
Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, the father of the young boy found dead, and his partner Jany Leveille, also face charges of abuse of a child resulting in death, a first degree felony, and conspiracy to commit child abuse.
The new documents filed Friday include details investigators have learned from interviews with some of the 11 children who were removed from the compound. Based on these interviews, investigators say Wahhaj and Leveille planned to confront "corrupt" institutions and shoot or attack people who they were unable to persuade with their "message," according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
The specific targets of the attacks included teachers, schools, banks and other institutions the group felt were corrupt. One child said Grady Memorial Hospital had been named because of the "treatment" Leveille and her mother had received there in the past, the paper reported.
The children also told authorities Lucas Morten, who is one of the five facing charges in addition to Wahhaj, Leveille and Wahhaj's two sisters, Hujrah Wahhaj and Subhannah Wahhaj, wanted to die in jihad.
Leveille had also reportedly joked about martyrdom, CNN reported.
The children at the compound had also been told to use a tunnel in the compound if authorities ever raided the site, and weapons were found at the tunnel's exit so the group would be able to arm themselves.
According to the interviews, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and Morten had planned to stay behind to face-off with law enforcement authorities in the event of a raid by law enforcement.
Two of the children told investigators they had also been trained in advanced firearms handling and had been told "to shoot law enforcement personnel when the time came," CNN reported.
[Photos: Taos County Sheriff’s Office]