Three men have been charged after plotting a bomb attack which was to target an apartment building that housed a mosque and many immigrants of the Muslim faith from Somalia, authorities say.
The men, Curtis Allen, Gavin Wright, and Patrick Eugene Stein, now face federal charges that are based on an eight-month investigation by the FBI, which has allegedly taken the agents involved to the point of discovering a “hidden culture of hatred and violence,” says Acting U.S. Attorney Tom Beall. “Many Kansans may find it as startling as I do that such things could happen here,” he continued.
The investigation was reportedly prompted by an informant who was paid and remains confidential. The informant attended the meetings with a group of individuals who call themselves “The Crusaders.” The individual heard plans discussed that plotted to attack Muslims, to whom the group referred to as “cockroaches.”
“Curtis Allen and Gavin Wright, both 49, of Liberal, Kansas, and Patrick Eugene Stein, 47, of Wright, Kansas, were… https://t.co/Zw1KIfxFWG
— Tara Haelle (@tarahaelle) October 15, 2016
The men who were charged on Friday were identified as the masterminds behind the attack plan, the FBI complaint stated. Evidence was generated to determine this by way of recordings, social media interactions, and reports from the confidential informant.
“The Crusaders” frequently expressed their hatred for Muslims, Somalis, and immigrants as a whole. Stein allegedly stated during one conversation that the nation would only be turned around by way of a “bloodbath.” The group members communicated that their intentions were to “wake people up” and to inspire other militia groups to take action.
The confidential informant relayed that at one point, Stein was being driven around and cursed Somali women in traditional garb from the vehicle. The men set up surveillance on Muslim individuals and the informant shares that during surveillance, Stein was armed with an assault rifle, magazines, a pistol, a ballistic vest, and a night vision scope.
It has been reported that the three men had been intending and plotting to “use a weapon of mass destruction,” since February, according to the FBI report, made public on Friday.
“We’re going to talk about killing people and going to prison for life. Less than sixty days, maybe forty days until something major happens. We need to be preemptive before something happens.”
Stein responded, noting the group’s ultimate focus, stating “The only good Muslim is a dead Muslim.”
“If you’re a Muslim I’m going to enjoy shooting you in the head,” [Stein said] before telling the group: “When we go on operations there’s no leaving anyone behind, even if it’s a one-year old, I’m serious.”
Stein is 47-years-old while Allen and Wright are both 49. Attorneys were yet to be listed for the three men as of Friday evening. The three are set to appear in a Wichita courtroom on Monday and if convicted, they face life in prison.
Islamaphobes: American Muslim community has given ~3x more tips to U.S. gov v. foreign gvts, & on-par w/ FBI & CIA https://t.co/hZ34tZlmlE
— Mike Osswald ⚗️ (@mikeosswald) October 12, 2016
The Council on American-Islamic Relations called on Friday for law enforcement and officials to step “up protection for mosques and other Islamic institutions,” as The Washington Post notes.
“We ask our nation’s political leaders, and particularly political candidates, to reject the growing Islamophobia in our nation,” CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said in a news release.
[Featured Image by Mario Tama/Getty Images]