Feds: Three men planned to bomb Kansas mosque post-election
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A militia group allegedly planned to bomb a mosque in Kansas after Election Day, according to the Department of Justice.

Three men were charged in federal court Friday with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction, in this case explosives, in Garden City, Kan., the DOJ said in a statement.

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“According to the complaint, these three defendants conspired to conduct a bombing attack against an apartment complex occupied by men, women and children in the Garden City, Kansas community,” said assistant attorney general for national security John P. Carlin. "Protecting our nation from such attacks, whether they are rooted in domestic or international terrorism, is our highest priority.

“These charges are based on eight months of investigation by the FBI that is alleged to have taken the investigators deep into a hidden culture of hatred and violence,” said acting U.S. attorney Tom Beall of the District of Kansas. "Many Kansans find it as startling as I do that such things could happen here.”

The DOJ said the men charged are Curtis Allen and Gavin Wright, both 49, and of Liberal, Kan., and Patrick Eugene Stein, 47, of Wright, Kan.

The defendants are part of a group called the Crusaders, it said, and first attracted FBI scrutiny last February.

The criminal complaint against the trio alleges they surveyed possible targets, stockpiled guns, ammunition and explosive components and planned on issuing a manifesto after the attack.

The defendants hoped to “wake people up” by attacking the Muslim Somali community in Garden City, it said.

They plotted to park four vehicles containing explosives and detonate them outside the apartment complex and mosque there, the complaint added.

The DOJ said Stein met with an undercover FBI agent on Oct. 12 in rural Finney County, Kan., where he let the source examine and test fire automatic weapons.

Stein then took the agent to their planned target and allegedly said he would provide ammonium nitrate for bombs. He additionally offered $200-$300 for other materials.

Allen, Stein and Wright face a maximum of life in prison if they are convicted for allegedly plotting to bomb the mosque.