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Kansas trio plead not guilty in plot to bomb apartment, mosque

Booking photos of Curtis Allen, Gavin Wright and Patrick Eugene Stein
Left to right, Curtis Allen, 49; Gavin Wright, 49; and Patrick Eugene Stein, 47, shown in 2016 booking photos, face trial on charges of plotting to bomb a Muslim neighborhood in southwest Kansas. Photo courtesy of Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Reuters) Three men charged with plotting to bomb an apartment building in western Kansas where Muslim immigrants from Somalia lived and had a mosque pleaded not guilty on Monday (Oct. 17) but remained in jail, prosecutors said.

Curtis Allen, 49; Gavin Wright, 49; and Patrick Eugene Stein, 47, were each charged on Friday with one count of conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction in Garden City, Kan.

The three were arraigned in federal court in Wichita on Monday, where lawyers entered not guilty pleas on their behalf, said James Cross, spokesman for Tom Beall, acting U.S. attorney for the District of Kansas.

Wright and Stein will have detention hearings on Friday and Allen next week to determine if they should remain in jail while the case is pending, Cross said. If convicted, the defendants face a maximum sentence of life in federal prison.

Stein’s lawyer, Edward Robinson, and Wright’s lawyer, Kari Schmidt, did not immediately return calls seeking comment. Kirk Redmond, public defender for Allen, also did not return a call.

The three men are accused of stockpiling guns and explosives in preparation for bombing an apartment complex where 120 people lived, including the Somalians.

They intended to park a vehicle at each corner of the apartment complex and detonate them, according to the charges. Garden City is a town of about 27,000 people in southwestern Kansas.

The men were being investigated as part of a domestic terrorism probe of several militia groups in southwestern Kansas, according to an FBI affidavit accompanying the charges. Those groups had anti-government, anti-Muslim and anti-immigration beliefs, the affidavit said.

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Jerome Socolovsky

7 Comments

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  • “Thank you!!!” to the FBI and everyone else involved in uncovering and putting an end to this inhuman, anti-American plot. I’m so glad the sacrilegious terrorists were caught before they carried out their plan.

  • While I’m strongly inclined to believe that the charges against these men will prove true, the author should have provided the caveat that (“It is alleged/charged”), that “they intended to park a vehicle, etc….” It is a mere journalistic fig-leaf, but a necessary one by all the rules of objective journalism. At least until a judicial decision is handed down. And if such decision finds them guilty, then let the full force of the law be imposed. In the meantime, innocent until proven guilty still applies under law.

  • It says “according to the charges” at the end of that paragraph. “It is alleged” would have been redundant, although I guess they could have said “the charges allege” etc.

  • As with Kevin’s earlier article, this one too supports Christian privilege by avoiding any mention of the Christian motivation behind this plot by Christian terrorists. As before – here we have a cell of Christian terrorists, who, based on their Bible (they specifically cited Deuteronomy, for instance), planned a terror attack against some Americans because those planned victims were Muslim. If this story were exactly the same – but reversed (Islamic terrorists planning to attack Christians for being Christian), we’d have front page coverage for at least days about “Islamic terrorists” – yet, when Christians do the exact same thing, it’s buried on page 3 at best, and “Christian terrorists”, or their Bible based motivations, are rarely if ever mentioned. Because Christian privilege.

  • The same apparently with Jedidiah Stout – arson attacks on mosque and Planned Parenthood – the latter twice.

  • Missed that, I was focusing on the beginning of the sentence, where (I think) the qualifier is usually found. Thanks for the correction.

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