Three Kansas men were arrested Friday and charged with planning to use weapons of mass destruction to attack a mosque and an apartment complex which housed Muslim Somali immigrants in Garden City, Kan. According to a statement by the Department of Justice, the terror attack was planned for Nov. 9, a day after the U.S. presidential elections.
The terrorists, all White males in their late forties, are members of a U.S.-based militia group known as “The Crusaders.” According to an FBI affidavit, the terrorist group espouses “sovereign citizen, anti-government, anti-Muslim, and anti-immigrant extremist beliefs.”
Eric Jackson, a FBI Kansas City special agent in charge, said in a statement, “These individuals had the desire, the means, the capability to carry out this act of domestic terrorism.”
The arrest was the conclusion of an eight-month FBI investigation that was prompted by a paid confidential informant, who had attended meetings with “The Crusaders” and heard of their plans to attack Muslims. Since February, FBI agents put the group under surveillance to thwart any possible attack.
During the investigation, one of the attackers, Patrick Stein, was recorded saying, “The only good Muslim is a dead Muslim.” According to information released by the FBI, Stein also said, “When we go on operations, there’s no leaving anyone behind, even if it’s a 1-year-old, I’m serious. I guarantee, if I go on a mission, those little fuckers are going bye-bye.”
The confidential informant reported to the FBI that once, while driving with the member of “The Crusaders,” Stein yelled and spewed slurs towards Somali women in traditional attire.
The Facebook pages of all three men contain links to a number of articles from conspiracy websites that promulgate anti-Muslim rhetoric.
They are scheduled to appear in court Monday. If they are convicted, they are expected to face life in prison.
The arrest comes amid a rise in attacks on Muslims and mosques across the United States — not to mention the anti-Muslim rhetoric propagated on the U.S. presidential campaign.