Defendant in Taos compound case shares story in written testimony
TAOS, N.M. — Nearly four and a half years have passed since authorities busted what they believe was a terrorist compound in Taos County. The five arrested are expected to finally get their day in court later this year.
For the first time, we are getting a glimpse into the minds of two of the sisters facing terrorism-related charges.
Now facing federal terrorism and kidnapping charges, a recent court filing details Subhannah Wahhaj’s firsthand experience from the compound raid to now. Before she was arrested, she writes about meeting with her children. They reportedly had pizza and were met with smiles from CYFD, but then she was questioned by the FBI.
“We were tricked into going in a room to speak with the FBI agents… I was polite and I entertained the agent’s questioning, but I knew something was up.”
She said she got a lawyer soon after. Then all five were charged with child abuse in district court.
Subhannah mentions a diary entry, writing:
“When I learned that we would be arrested, I immediately tore out the pages of my diary… I mentioned my grievances with Jany… I didn’t want anyone to see it.”
Investigators have called Jany Levellie the ring leader of the terrorism plot, alleging they were training the children to carry out school shootings.
Subhannah writes she is deeply concerned for her children, and details her experience getting arrested while she was eight months pregnant. She wrote that one of her youngest kids – years later – doesn’t even remember her own mother.
Subhannah’s writings do not mention anything specific to the allegations against her, or about her nephew, whose body was found wrapped in a tarp in the tunnel on the compound.
Subhannah’s sister, Hujrah Wahhaj, also has a handwritten declaration detailing some horrific experiences inside jail.
However, ultimately, these writings won’t mean much to the trial. A judge wants to keep the legal arguments to the lawyers.
Since this is a terrorism case, there is some sensitive material that is now getting handled by “classified information security officers” so national security information doesn’t become public record.
The trial date is set for September.