Federal agents arrested three Kansas militia members plotting to bomb an apartment complex for Somali immigrants that also contained a mosque.
Curtis Allen, Gavin Wright and Patrick Eugene Stein were arrested Oct. 11 on charges of violating federal statutes regarding arson/explosives and use of a weapon of mass destruction.
All three men belong to an anti-government and anti-Muslim militia group called the “Crusaders,” according to authorities. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate and militia groups, describes the Crusaders as synonymous with the Kansas Security Force, which is part of the larger extremist group Three Percent Security Force. Both organizations share rabidly anti-Muslim views.
“These charges are based on eight months of investigation by the FBI that is alleged to have taken the investigators deep into a hidden culture of hatred and violence,” said Tom Beall, acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas.
The investigation into Allen, Wright and Stein began in February 2016 when a paid informant within the Crusaders notified the FBI of a violent attack in the works. According to the complaint, the three men were surveilling the Garden City, Kansas, area looking for potential Muslim target locations.
During surveillance missions, Stein armed himself with a pistol, assault rifle, several magazines, ballistic vest and a night vision scope. He also took the opportunities to express his hatred for Muslims to fellow Crusaders, even advocating violence against young children, court documents say.
“If you’re a Muslim I’m going to enjoy shooting you in the head,” he told the group. “When we go on operations there’s no leaving anyone behind, even if it’s a one-year old, I’m serious.”
By August, the three men decided on the apartment complex in Garden City due to its affiliation with Somali immigrants and because it also housed a mosque. The plan was to obtain four vehicles, fill them with homemade explosives and park at each four corners of the complex the day after the General Election. The Crusaders hoped the collection of vehicles would create a massive explosion, taking the most amount of lives.
Between August and October, Allen, Stein and Wright unknowingly met with undercover agents seeking to buy full auto 5.56 and 7.62 x 39mm rifles. The men also expressed interest in buying or making their own silencers to use alongside .22-caliber guns.
Early last week, the plan unraveled after Allen’s girlfriend filed a police report against him alleging domestic violence. When local police officers showed up to take her statement, she showed them a room in Allen’s home stocked full of ammo, brass casings and tools to make explosives and firearms. In addition, a white powdery substance, believed to be a homemade explosive compound called Hexamethylene Triperoxide Diamine, was found on the premise.
Further investigation into Allen’s property turned up a .22 Sharp’s handgun, a Glock 19 and over 2,000 pounds of ammunition.
Police arrested Allen and Wright later that day; at which time officers discovered Allen was heavily armed with large quantities of ammunition, several loaded magazines and a tool used to create baffles for suppressors.
If convicted, all three men face a maximum life sentence in federal prison.