The FBI has arrested three “Crusaders” militia members who were planning to bomb an apartment complex and mosque in Garden City, Kansas, in an attempt to kill hundreds of Muslim immigrants.
Patrick Stein, Gavin Wright, and Curtis Allen were arrested Friday and charged with plotting the terrorist attack to kill Somali immigrants, according to Huffington Post.
The men, who are all white men in their late 40s and early 50s, allegedly plotted for many months about where to attack, at one point discussing the option of bombing churches that provided shelter for Muslim refugees.
According to an FBI agent’s affidavit, they belonged to an extremist group that espoused “sovereign citizen, anti-government, anti-Muslim, and anti-immigrant extremist beliefs,” and allegedly plotted to attack Muslim immigrants, eventually focusing on the apartment complex in Garden City, Kansas.
FBI arrests three members of a right-wing militia in domestic terror plot to kill Muslim immigrants: https://t.co/QV40u95Tiy
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) October 14, 2016
KWCH-12 reports that the men were members of the Kansas Security Force and the Crusaders. The three suspects are currently in jail on one count of conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction.
If convicted, they could face life in prison.
The Department of Justice says that the militia members allegedly stockpiled firearms, ammunition, and explosive materials. They planned to park four vehicles filled with explosives at the four corners of the apartment complex in order to set off a massive explosion.
The attack was planned to take place one day after the presidential election, on November 9, according to the DOJ.
The FBI has been monitoring the group for some time, and has surveillance tapes of the Crusaders members discussing the plot and their plans to start a “bloodbath” targeting Muslim immigrants in the United States.
They report that Stein allegedly said that “the only good Muslim is a dead Muslim” and that he would enjoy shooting Muslims in the head. Stein also added that even babies and toddlers would be “going bye-bye,” according to the FBI.
“When we go on operations, there’s no leaving anyone behind, even if it’s a one-year-old, I’m serious.”
Transcripts of conference calls with Stein contain many expletive-filled rants about his plans to kill as many Muslim men, women, and children as he could. At one point, he said that he would like to dip bullets in pig’s blood before shooting them, and he referred to them as “cockroaches.”
The FBI is referring to the planned attack as domestic terrorism, according to Buzzfeed.
The Crusaders allegedly planned the terrorist attack for months, discussing various targets that would kill as many Muslims as possible. FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric K. Jackson said that they eventually settled on the Garden City apartment complex that houses approximately 120 Muslim immigrants and also contained a mosque that had been set up for worship.
The militia members wrote a manifesto that they planned to release after the bombing. In it, they wrote that they planned the terrorist attack in order to “wake people up,” according to acting U.S. Attorney Tom Beall.
“These charges are based on eight months of investigation led by the FBI that is alleged to have taken investigators deep into a culture of hatred and violence,” Beall said.
At some point during the investigation, the FBI was able to infiltrate the group with an undercover agent. The agent showed the group members automatic weapons that they could use during the terrorist attack, and was taken to the apartment building that the group planned to bomb.
The FBI reports that the bombing was planned to take part the day after the presidential election, in order to prevent influencing the election with their actions. Presumably, they wanted to give Donald Trump as much of a chance as possible to be elected president and did not want their terrorist actions to harm his candidacy.
While the FBI has not said which candidate the Crusaders militia group supports, many are assuming they are in support of Donald Trump.
— Christopher Eshelman (@pastopher) October 14, 2016
Planned for day after election, against Somali-Americans whom Trump has specifically demonized. Nothin to see here…https://t.co/WTYZqTHEaz
— Zeddonymous (@ZeddRebel) October 14, 2016
1. Trump whips up frenzy against Muslims, Somali immigrants.
2. Group calling themselves "Crusaders" plot to attack mosque.
— Ismat Sarah Mangla (@ismat) October 14, 2016
Meanwhile, many are calling for the same media coverage of the plotted terrorist attack that Muslim attacks have generated in the press.
Three White Terrorists arrested for plotting a bomb attack against the Somali community in Garden City, Kansas.
— D (@Delo_Taylor) October 14, 2016
Others are pointing out that the media uses different wording when describing terrorist attacks by Muslims and Christians, and when writing about terrorist attacks by non-Americans versus Americans.
Why won't the media say "Radical Christian Terrorism?" — 3 men charged in Garden City bomb plot https://t.co/k49IEKjIuO
— David (@ahzoov) October 14, 2016
— (((Heather ♿))) (@MissJupiter1957) October 14, 2016
Call the #KansasPlot “crusaders” terrorists. This is domestic violent extremism.
— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) October 14, 2016
I want to see the rest of our country get as outraged over #KansasPlot w/ white militiamen calling themselves Crusaders like they do Muslims
— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) October 14, 2016
FBI officials report that the Crusaders members are linked with other militia and sovereign groups that promote anti-government, anti-immigrant, anti-muslim, and strong gun-rights ideologies.
[Featured Image by Katherine Welles/Shutterstock]