ATLANTA - A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted five relatives from Atlanta, charging them with plotting terrorism after kidnapping a toddler and retreating to an isolated desert compound in New Mexico.
The defendants, whose site was raided last summer have long been accused by authorities of planning terrorism, but the indictment is first time they’ve been formally charged with such allegations. The Clayton County boy, Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj, was found dead at the compound on what would have been his 4th birthday.
Previously, the relatives, who had lived around Clayton, DeKalb and Fulton counties, were held in federal custody only on firearm charges. The new indictment doesn’t specificy the group’s plans, but says they intended to kill members of the FBI and the U.S. military.
“The superseding indictment alleges a conspiracy to stage deadly attacks on American soil,” New Mexico U.S. Attorney John C. Anderson said in a news release. “These allegations remind us of the dangers of terrorism that continue to confront our nation, and the allegation concerning the death of a young child only underscores the importance of prompt and effective intervention by law enforcement.”
Previously, attorneys for the suspects have claimed they were misunderstood because they are black Muslims.
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