Garden City terrorists receive sentence

On October 15, 2016, three Kansas terrorists were placed into custody after plans to detonate a bomb in an apartment complex inhabited by African-American and Somalian individuals. The two-year anniversary of the arrest recently past, and the men are still incarcerated for their crimes.

The men include Curtis Allen, 49, Gavin Wright, 49, and Patrick Stein, 47. All are members of a white power group called the “Crusaders.” The following incidents took place in Garden City, Kansas, where many immigrants reside due to job opportunities at the Tyson slaughter facility.

The men had been under investigation since February of 2016. The investigation conducted by the FBI had an undercover source working closely with the men to obtain as much information as possible.

“The government credited the confidential source for thwarting the attack and saving the lives of innocent victims, [they] recorded numerous conversations during which the defendants discussed and refined their plan,” the Kansas Department of Justice said.

The final plan that the men had intentions of following through with discussed obtaining four vehicles, filling them with explosives and parking them at the four corners of the apartment complex to create an explosion that would level the building and kill its occupants.

Luckily, the premeditated terrorist attack was never put into effect because Allen had been arrested for a domestic violence disturbance.

When searching his home and vehicle, local police found many malicious items. Rolling Out stated that an AR-15, AK-47, Glock handgun and a metric ton of ammo were all found.

Police then searched his workplace, where they found plans for the bomb and a detonator. The three conspirators were then arrested and charged for conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction.

June 27, 2018, was when the men received their final sentence hearing. All three men faced up to life in federal prison, the Kansas Department of Justice said.

Allen, Wright and Stein were planning this attack to show their hatred and discontent for Muslim Immigrants in the community. All had been known for their violent hate speech against immigrants and other people of color.

Terrorist attacks like this one happen much more than people imagine. According to Statista, there were 65 terrorist attacks in the United States alone.

Terrorist attacks last year are the highest they have ever been. The year 1995 held the previous high with 60 terrorist attacks. Terrorists and hate speech are beginning to become more prevalent today than they have been in decades.

White power groups are also making more of an appearance, especially in the southern and mid-western regions. Terrorist attacks in the past few years include the Orlando Shooting, Boston Marathon Bombing, Charleston Church Shooting and many others.

Due to the current political climate and other factors, many hate groups have been more prevalent in media and daily life. Hate speech is extremely common today and the three men conspiring in Garden City are contributing to this problem.

According to Rolling Out, the undercover source took note of a few statements from Allen during a conference call of the planned attacks.

“We need to get some signs made up and just put right there on it: I SUPPORT ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, I GO AGAINST THE CONSTITUTION ON A DAILY BASIS, I DO NOT HAVE ANY CARE FOR MY FELLOW CITIZENS IN THE STATE OR IN THE TOWN THAT I REPRESENT… and then for every one of them that we blow the top of their head off we just put that around their neck,” said Allen to Rolling Out.

Clearly, Allen and his accomplices were full of hatred towards immigrants. The violent nature of the men is also apparent and terrified people in the Garden City community.

The responsibility of the law is to keep communities safe and free from harm, and they accomplished this by releasing their final verdict. All men will spend the remainder of their lives in a cell without the possibility of parole.

Terrorists Allen, Wright and Stein were arrested before any severe damage was done to their targets. Unfortunately, not all situations end without casualties. Orlando families survivors still mourn over the tragedy they experienced. Terrorist attacks affect communities for years to follow.

“It’s insane how close to home people like that can be. It’s honestly terrifying,” freshman music education major, Houston Gonzales said.

On the two-year anniversary of the arrest of the three terrorists, it is important to recognize these events can happen anywhere, even in one’s own community.

Hate crimes and speech are to be taken seriously, and in the case of the Garden City Terrorists, it was and the men are still facing their time. If you hear or see anything suggestive of violent crime, it is best to contact local authorities.