Trial opens in Kansas bomb plot targeting Somalis; prosecutor says men wanted to kill Muslims
Wichita ? Three militia members plotted to bomb a Kansas mosque and apartment complex housing Somali immigrants to kill as many Muslims as possible, a federal prosecutor said Thursday.
In her opening statement at their trial, Risa Berkower told jurors that the three men described the Somalis as “cockroaches” and planned to carry out an attack in the meatpacking town of Garden City, Kansas, about 220 miles west of Wichita, until a fourth man revealed their plot to the FBI and authorities arrested them.
Patrick Stein, Gavin Wright and Curtis Allen have pleaded not guilty to several charges, including conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction.
A militia member tipped off federal authorities after becoming alarmed by the escalating talk of violence, prosecutors have said. The man later agreed to wear a wire as a paid informant. The government’s case features months of profanity-laced recordings in which militia members discussed plans.
According to prosecutors, Stein was recorded discussing the type of fuel and fertilizer bomb that Timothy McVeigh used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, which killed 168 people. Stein was arrested when he delivered 300 pounds (135 kilograms) of fertilizer to undercover FBI agents to make explosives.
Attorneys for the three men are expected to make their opening statements later Thursday.