Three Kansas men were charged Friday with conspiring to blow up a Kansas apartment complex where as many as 120 Somalis lived and worshipped, PEOPLE confirms.
Curtis Allen, 49, Gavin Wright, 51, and Patrick Stein, 47, were all charged in federal court with domestic terrorism, Acting U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said at a news conference in Wichita. The three men are all members of a militia group called the Crusaders.
Beall said the charges were based on an eight-month investigation that allegedly took FBI investigators “deep into a hidden culture of hatred and violence.”
At the press conference, Beall said the men stockpiled firearms, ammunition and explosive components and prepared a manifesto they planned to publish after the bombing.
“One of them said the bombing would ‘wake people up,’ ” Beall said.
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According to Beall, the men looked at a number of targets, including pro-Somali churches and public officials and landlords who rented to Somalis before they finally chose the apartment complex in Garden City.
The plot involved obtaining four vehicles, filling them with explosives and parking them at the four corners of the apartment in order to “create a large explosion,” Beall said.
Beall said Stein met with a confidential FBI source on October 12 to look at automatic weapons the source had brought from a FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia. After Stein tried out two of the weapons, he took the FBI source to the targeted apartment. According to Beall, Stein said he could get his hands on ammonium nitrate for the bomb and shell out $200 to $300 for other materials.
If convicted, all three could face life in federal prison.