The children discovered at an “extremist Muslim” compound in New Mexico earlier this month were both trained to use firearms and taught multiple tactical techniques in order to kill teachers, law enforcement and other institutions they found corrupt, state prosecutors revealed on Monday.
The prosecutors provided more details about the accusations during a court hearing in which they asked that Siraj Ibn Wahhaj and four other defendants be held pending trial on child abuse charges.
But the judge in the case ruled against prosecutors’ request.
Judge Sarah Backus said although she was concerned by "troubling facts," prosecutors failed to articulate any specific threats to the community.
She set a $20,000 bond for each defendant and ordered that they wear ankle monitors and have weekly contact with their attorneys.
It was also announced Monday that 3-year-old Abdul-ghani Wahhaj, who had been missing since December, allegedly died amid a ritualistic religious ceremony intended to “cast out demonic spirits,” Reuters reported.
“It was a religious ritual carried out... a ritual intended to cast out demonic spirits from Abdul-ghani Wahhaj,” Taos County Prosecutor John Lovelace said.
Public defenders argued the boy's father was trying to heal the child by reading passages from the Koran but prosecutors claimed he was denying the boy medication. One of the children taken into custody claimed that the boy had died in February.
The children said they were told the boy would be resurrected as Jesus and guide them on which "corrupt institutions" to attack, NBC reported citing investigators.
It wasn’t immediately clear if the remains of a child found on the grounds of the compound were Abdul-ghani Wahhaj.
The defendants were arrested and 11 children were taken into custody during a raid Aug. 4 on the compound near the Colorado state line.
Wahhaj and the others were seated with their public defenders in a Taos courtroom Monday as prosecutors presented books that were found at the compound, documents related to Wahhaj's trip to Saudi Arabia and a handwritten notebook that appeared to be some kind of teaching manual. They also pointed to evidence that Wahhaj had taken a series of firearms courses while in Georgia.
Defense attorneys, meantime, argued that prosecutors were trying unjustly to paint their clients as armed militants. Public defenders also argued that the rifles and handguns found on the property were common guns that could be bought at retail stores and that their clients made no aggressive efforts to defend their compound.
Wahhaj is the son of a Brooklyn imam, also named Siraj Wahhaj, who was named by prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the New York Post reported. The elder Wahhaj, who heads Masjid At-Taqwa mosque, was a character witness in the trial for Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the notorious “blind sheikh” who was convicted in 1995 of plotting terror attacks in the U.S.
Fox News’ Travis Feschun, Nicole Darrah and The Associated Press contributed to this report.