Law enforcement officials are seeking to reassure immigrants in a diverse western Kansas community of their safety after three men were accused of plotting to target Somali immigrants, the Associated Press reports. Curtis Wayne Allen, 49; Patrick Eugene Stein, 47; and Gavin Wayne Wright, 49, with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction in Garden City. The men are members of a small militia group that calls itself “the Crusaders,” and whose members allegedly espouse sovereign citizen, anti-government, anti-Muslim, and anti-immigrant extremist beliefs.
The suspects are charged with planning to detonate truck bombs around a small apartment complex where about 120 Somali residents live. Prosecutors said the men talked about attacking churches that have helped settle refugees and helped them get jobs at Tyson Foods, the meat packing company that has drawn a diverse immigrant population to the area. Debra Bolton of Kansas State University said 35 languages and dialects besides English are spoken in Garden City schools. Of the 40,000 people in Finney County, only 46 percent are of white European descent, and there are about 500 Somalians. “This is devastating to the community,” she said.