Federal authorities announced Friday that they have arrested three Kansas men in connection with an alleged attempt to bomb an apartment complex in Garden City, Kansas, that included many Somali-American residents and a mosque, officials said.
The charge is conspiring to use explosives to blow up the complex, officials said.
The trio - Curtis Allen and Gavin Wright, both 49 and from Liberal, Kansas, and Patrick Eugene Stein, 47, of Wright, Kansas - were part of an anti-Muslim group called the Crusaders that plotted from at least February 2016 through Oct. 12 to blow up the apartment complex by parking explosives-laden vehicles at all four corners, according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court. The trio were the key architects of the plan to use explosives made of aluminum powder and ammonium nitrate and detonate them with a cell phone, according to the complaint.
The men wanted to carry out the plot in order to "wake people up," officials said.
If convicted, the three could face life in prison, Acting U.S. Attorney Tom Beall of the District of Kansas told reporters during a press conference.
Said Eric Jackson, FBI Kansas City special agent in charge, "These individuals had the desire, the means, the capability to carry out this act of domestic terrorism."
During the course of the several-month investigation aided by an informant, the men openly discussed their hatred for members of the Muslim community, referring to them as "cockroaches," and they discussed carrying out potential attacks on churches, organizations that have aided Muslims, public officials and landlords that have rented to members of the Somali community.
"This plot was something that was imminent and ... these individuals, they were committed to carrying this out," Beall told reporters.