Suspects In New Mexico Compound Were Planning Terrorist Attack In Atlanta Hospital, Investigators Say

David GoldmanAssociated Press

Investigators found several telling items at the ramshackle New Mexico compound where five people were living in deplorable conditions with 11 emaciated children. Per CNN, one of the items was a handwritten document that detailed attacking institutions they targeted for an attack. In fact, investigators claim that one of the institutions they planned to target included Grady Memorial Hospital in downtown Atlanta, GA.

The disturbing development for the planned terrorist attack on the hospital comes from recently-filed court documents obtained during investigations into the heavily-fortified compound. The handwritten document titled, “Phases of a Terrorist Attack” names Grady Memorial Hospital, or simply “Grady,” as the locals call it, as a planned target, along with other well-known institutions.

The newly-filed court documents contain information that federal investigators obtained in interviews with the children. Per WSB, the adults were training the 11 children at the compound to carry out mass killings. During the interviews, the children told the investigators that Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 40, and his partner, Jany Leveille, 35, told them their intentions of confronting “corrupt institutions or individuals.”

The children also told investigators that they received advanced weapons training and were adept at the handling of firearms. They said they had also been told to shoot law enforcement employees when the time came, and they were additionally instructed by the adults to attack certain targets such as the institutions they deemed corrupt.

Institutions they considered corrupt included banks and schools, and the children additionally said they were told that law enforcement employees and teachers were also considered as corrupt individuals and targets for attack.

The highly-publicized case where 11 starving kids were found at the New Mexico compound was fraught with allegations of abuse even before the plans of terrorism were uncovered. Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and his partner Jany Leveille are accused in child abuse resulting in the death of Wahhaj’s 3-year-old son, Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj.

Authorities came upon the New Mexico compound when they raided it on August 3 in a search for Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj. According to the police, the boy’s mother, who is located in Georgia, said that he had been missing for more than eight months. Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj was last seen leaving his home in Jonesboro, Georgia, with his father Siraj Ibn Wahhaj in November.

During a search of the compound, the boy’s remains were located. Investigators said that Abdul-Ghani allegedly endured severe abuse at the makeshift compound, including abuse that came from what prosecutors believe was an attempt to exorcise demons from the boy. The child suffered from seizures, and they may have been what was making his abusers think he was possessed by a demon.

When the youngster was taken from his mother by Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, she told authorities that he left the boy’s medicine behind. Ironically, the withholding of the seizure medication was the ultimate cause of death for the toddler.

If convicted of the crime of abuse of a child resulting in death, it is a first-degree felony. The sentence carries a penalty of up to life in prison. Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and Jany Leveille also face charges of conspiracy to commit child abuse. If the pair is convicted, that charge is a first-degree felony, as well.

The reason why Grady Memorial Hospital was targeted for a potential terrorist attack isn’t known, but clues are contained within a journal Jany Leveille maintained. Leveille wrote in the journal that she was displeased at the treatment she and her mother received at the hospital. Her journal didn’t contain any details about the treatment.

Grady Memorial Hospital is one of the Southeast’s largest hospitals. Established in 1892, the hospital is also one of the leading trauma centers in the U.S.

In addition to Siraj Wahhaj and Jany Leveille, Wahhaj’s sisters, Hujrah Wahhaj and Subhannah Wahhaj, along with Lucas Morten were arrested in connection to the alleged crimes committed at the makeshift compound. Prosecutors fought to deny bail for the five suspects, but they were allowed to post bail at $20,000 bond each, a judge ruled in Taos, NM.

Brooklyn Imam Siraj Wahhaj
Featured image credit: Anjum MalkanaWikimedia Commons

Siraj Ibn Wahhaj’s father is Brooklyn imam Siraj Wahhaj of the Al-Taqwa mosque located in Brooklyn, NY. Siraj Wahhaj is also the leader of The North American chapter of Muslim Alliance, and he has been linked in the connection to the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, reports the New York Post. The elder Whahaj said that 3-year-old Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj was his grandson.

Pic of the CDC in Atlanta
Featured image credit: Daniel MayerWikimedia Commons

A terrorist attack in the Atlanta area is especially alarming in light of the alleged targeting of teachers and “well-known” institutions by the group. One such institution that could have been considered “well-known” and “corrupt” by the extremist group is the government agency known as the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC houses serious and devastating diseases such as anthrax and smallpox at its location in Atlanta. The CDC, Grady, and colleges such as Emory, Kennesaw University, and Georgia Tech are all located within a few miles of each other, and a terrorist attack with precision such as that shown demonstrated during 9-11 against these institutions could be catastrophic. The close proximity of these institutions to other can be considered a stone’s throw away from each other in the case of a full-scale and strategic terrorist attack.

Fortunately, the CDC and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) do have contingencies in place in the event of a terrorist attack against their building and others, however. Also comforting is the fact that the CDC is heavily guarded, and it is considered on the front lines against extremist organizations using biological or chemical weapons.

This is not the first time the Atlanta area has experienced a brush with terrorists and the fallout associated with them. Two terrorists involved in the deadly 9-11 attacks rented single-engine airplanes Georgia’s Briscoe Field before the attacks. The event led to flight training restrictions in Gwinnett County, and although the terrorists only spent one day at Brisco field, the stigma of their visit remains to this day.

What’s more, In 1996, a domestic terrorist detonated a pipe bomb at Centennial Olympic Park during the 1996 Summer Olympics. The blast from the bomb killed one person and additionally injured more than a hundred others.