Federal prosecutors announced on Friday afternoon they'd arrested three men on charges of domestic terrorism for planning to bomb a mosque and apartment complex in Garden City, Kansas. They called themselves the "Crusaders," a group U.S. Attorney Tom Beall referred to as a "militia."
The details given at the afternoon press conference about how the men planned an anti-Muslim slaughter were harrowing, but they didn't hold a candle to the details in a criminal complaint against the three men — Curtin Wayne Allen, Patrick Eugene Stein and Gavin Wayne Wright — who planned the attack.
Over a seven month period, the FBI investigated the group "whose members support and espouse sovereign citizen, anti-government, anti-Muslim, and anti-immigrant extremist beliefs," according to the complaint.
The investigation began when a paid, unnamed source began attending Crusaders meetings — wearing a body recorder and monitoring phone calls and messages — where the group began planning an attack on the local Muslim population with an improvised explosive. Transcripts and accounts from the source reveal staggeringly Islamophobic and violent rhetoric.
The Crusaders were driven by a desire to "wake up" the country to their perceived threat of Muslim immigrants. This is an excerpt from one conference call:
The only fucking way this country's ever going to get turned around is it will be a bloodbath and it will be a nasty, messy motherfucker. Unless a lot more people in this country wake up and smell the fucking coffee and decide they want this country back — we might be too late, if they do wake up — I think we can get it done. But it ain't going to be nothing nice about it.
According to the confidential source, Patrick Stein would surveil Somali women in public places, who he called "cockroaches," while surreptitiously armed with a pistol and assault rifle.
"Make sure if you start using your bow on them cockroaches, make sure you dip them in pig's blood before you shoot them," Stein said in a conference call recorded by the source.
The reference to pigs blood echoes a incorrect fable about General John J. Pershing, who mythically dipped bullets into pigs blood before using them to kill 49 Muslims. Donald Trump is fond of telling on the campaign trail.
The men settled on an apartment complex which houses about 120 people — many of whom are Somali — where one apartment was converted to a mosque. But initially, they considered a number of targets, including churches, public figures sympathetic to the Somali community and landlords who rented to Muslim refugees. The following excerpt from the complaint is from Stein's account of surveilling Somali neighborhoods:
Garden City for example, I know exactly where probably a majority of those motherfuckers are at in their homes — in Garden City — and they've got these apartment complexes over there where literally every fucking apartment — that's all it is, fucking goddamn cockroaches — and I mean I wouldn't be against if I could get a hold of some RPG's (rocket propelled grenades), I'll run some RPG's right through — I'll blow every goddamn building up right there — boom — I'm outta there.
On Aug. 14, the Crusaders settled on a plan to get four vehicles, fill them with explosives, and park them at the four corners of the structure to create a massive explosive, possibly by detonating them remotely with a cell phone. They researched Islamic prayer times in order to determine when they could kill the most people.
Eventually, the FBI introduced Stein to an undercover agent who posed as an arms dealer. Shortly after, using information from the confidential informant, the meeting with the undercover agent, and information from Curtin Allen's girlfriend — who claimed she'd suffered domestic abuse by the would-be domestic terrorist — they raided Allen's residence.
They found weapons, a yellow binder labeled "The Anarchist Cookbook," a possible detonator and materials used in the making of explosives.
The men planned the attack for November 9th, the day after election day.
Shortly after the news broke, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) put out a statement calling for additional protection for Islamic institutions.
"Given this alleged plan to attack a Kansas mosque, the two other hate incidents reported today against Islamic institutions in Michigan and New Jersey, and the overall spike in anti-mosque incidents nationwide, state and federal authorities should offer stepped-up protection to local communities," CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said in the statement.
U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said at the news conference on Friday afternoon that if convicted, the three men face life in federal prison.