ALBUQUERQUE – District Court Judge Sarah Backus, an elected Democrat, has released the suspects from the Taos County terrorist compound until their trial begins. According to media reports, suspects will be released on a signature bond, and will not have to post bail prior to their release.
"Judge Backus has put New Mexicans at risk by releasing suspected terrorists back into the community," said RPNM Chairman Ryan Cangiolosi. "By releasing these suspects without even requiring them to post bail, Judge Backus has put people in danger and created the risk that they could flee and harm other children and communities as well. If New Mexico Democratic Party leaders are serious about keeping our state safe, they should join me in denouncing Judge Backus and the incredible failure of leadership and judgment demonstrated by her terrible decision."
The suspects have been accused of training children to commit acts of terrorism, including school shootings. They were also charged with several counts of child abuse. According to a KOB report, Judge Backus determined the accused terrorists pose no threat to the community:
"Judge Sarah Backus made the determination the suspects weren't a danger to the community following several hours of testimony and evidence being presented by prosecutors…State prosecutors outlined evidence suggesting that at least some of the suspects could have been planning some sort of attack…Various weapons and ammo were found during the raid on August 3, and several more firearms were discovered in subsequent searches. The children were allegedly taught how to load and fire assault rifles…In addition, prosecutors described a letter sent to Siraj Wahhaj from his brother allegedly inviting him to come to New Mexico and die as a martyr." (KOB, 8/13/18)
"These suspects face serious charges that they intended to inflict mass violence, possibly through school shootings," added Rep. Bill Rehm (R-Alb), a retired law enforcement officer. "This, combined with the discovery of the remains of a young child, is strong evidence that they pose a high risk of violence and should be behind bars. People who are suspected of killing children and orchestrating mass shootings should not be allowed to walk out of the courthouse and back into their communities with almost zero guarantee that they will ever show up to trial. Regardless of political party, New Mexicans can recognize the danger of the judge's ruling and the risk it poses to public safety. This is Exhibit A as to why we need to pass a new constitutional amendment that would require judges to keep dangerous criminals like these in jail pending trial."