A jury convicted three members of the Kansas militia Wednesday of plotting to bomb a mosque and an apartment complex that housed Somali refugees.
The court convicted Curtis Allen, Patrick Stein and Gavin Wright — all members of Kansas Security Force — of one count of conspiracy against civil rights and one count of conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction. Wright was convicted of a further count of lying to FBI authorities, according to The Associated Press. FBI authorities apprehended the men in a 2016 sting operation after fellow militia member Dan Day agreed to aid the FBI as a paid informant and wear a wire when he heard some alarming threats from Allen, Stein and Wright.
“The defendants in this case acted with clear premeditation in an attempt to kill people on the basis of their religion and national origin,” U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said of the guilty verdicts according to AP. “Thats not just illegal — its immoral and unacceptable, and were not going to stand for it.”
The three members of Kansas Security Force formed a splinter group and referred to themselves as “The Crusaders,” authorities said. The group planned to attack an apartment complex known to house about 120 Somali residents — one apartment was used as a mosque.
Day recorded conversations with the men over several months. Wright hoped their attack on Somali Muslim immigrants would “wake people up,” the KSF member said. Days recordings also captured Stein suggesting they use the same fertilizer bomb method as Timothy McVeigh in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. The only way “this countrys ever going to get turned around is it will be a bloodbath,” Stein also said.
“That confidential source is also to be commended for doing the right thing and the courage he demonstrated,” U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said after Wednesdays verdict, according to AP.
The FBI arrested Stein when he delivered 300 lbs of fertilizer, which he planned to use to make explosives, to undercover FBI agents. The men convicted Wednesday planned to position trucks filled with explosives around the complex at different points in order to entirely level the building.
McAllister praised the courts conviction of the men as “a victory for the rule of law and national security.”
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