A 3-year-old boy found buried at a New Mexico desert compound died in a ritual to "cast out demonic spirits", but his extended family believed he would "return as Jesus" to identify "corrupt" targets for them to attack, prosecutors said in court on Monday.
Authorities encountered Ibn Wahhaj, Leveille and seven of the children last December when they were in a traffic accident in Georgia and police found weapons in the vehicle, including pistols, an AR-15 rifle and ammunition magazines, Taos County Prosecutor John Lovelace said.
Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 39, Lucas Morton, 40, Jany Leveille, 35, Hujrah Wahhaj, 38, and Subhanah Wahhaj, 35, are charged with multiple counts of child abuse.
The allegations came during a hearing of three women and two men arrested on charges of child abuse after authorities raided their derelict property on August 3.
They have all pleaded not guilty.
According to prosecutors' presentation on Monday, at least some of the children were given weapons training to defend the compound against a possible Federal Bureau of Investigation raid.
A cross-country search for the missing boy and his father led investigators to the 10-acre (4-hectare) plot outside Amalia, near the Colorado border.
Prosecutors believe the remains were that of Wahhaj's son, who is disabled, according KOAT, but investigators say it could take weeks to verify the child's identification.
The child's body was found wrapped in cloth and plastic at the entrance to one of those tunnels, Hogrefe said.
Prosecutors' account of an exorcism-like ritual, allegations of weapons training for children and references to martyrdom and conspiracy were aimed at persuading a judge to deny bond for the five adults charged with child abuse in the case.
"They are black and they are Muslim", Clark said.
However, state District Judge Sarah Backus said at the end of the four-hour detention hearing she remained unconvinced that the defendants posed a danger to the community and set bail at $20,000 for each of them.
"If these were white people of the Christian faith who owned guns, this wouldn't be as big of a deal", said attorney Clark.
The children, ranging from 1 to 15 years of age, were clothed in rags and starving when they were found on August 3, authorities said. They came at the instruction of Leveille, whom the family believed to be receiving messages from God through the angel Gabriel, Taylor testified.
The Badgers said law enforcement officers from the sheriff's department and the New Mexico State Police visited the site and spoke to members of the group at the entrance to the compound on at least two occasions in January and February to address the Badgers' eviction concerns. Two men and three women were arrested and 11 children were placed in state custody.
Last week, authorities found the remains of a young boy at the compound on what would have been Abdul-Ghani's fourth birthday. The father was wanted on a warrant from Georgia issued on suspicion of abducting his son. She told CNN he suffers from seizures, can't walk, and needs constant medical care.
In describing what the children said about the death of Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj, Lovelace said, "It was a religious ritual carried out on Abdul-Ghani, a ritual meant to cast out demonic spirits" from him.
In May, law enforcement began investigating reports that Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and others were living at the compound in Amalia. The compound included a firing range and residents in the area claimed they could hear gunshots.
Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said he thinks the group are extremist muslims, according to CNN. Authorities are awaiting autopsy results to identify the remains.