Militia members found guilty of plotting to bomb Somali refugees

Three Kansas militia members were found guilty Wednesday of plotting to bomb an apartment complex housing Somali refugees they called "cockroaches."

Patrick Stein, Gavin Wright and Curtis Allen were convicted of conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and conspiracy against civil rights.

Wright, also convicted of lying to the FBI, is captured in one recording saying he hoped an attack on the Somalis would "wake people up" and inspire others to take similar action against Muslims. The complex that they targeted also included a mosque.

"Their ultimate goal was to wake people up and to slaughter every man, woman and child in the building," assistant U.S. attorney Anthony Mattivi said in his closing argument in federal court in Wichita, according to the Guardian.

Kansas trio accused of plotting to bomb Somali immigrants

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Kansas trio accused of plotting to bomb Somali immigrants
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Kansas trio accused of plotting to bomb Somali immigrants
Curtis Allen 49, (L to R), Gavin Wright, 49 and Patrick Eugene Stein, 47 are shown in these booking photos in Wichita, Kansas provided October 15, 2016. The three were arrested and charged in connection with plotting to bomb an apartment complex in western Kansas where 120 people lived, including Muslim immigrants from Somalia, federal officials said. Photo courtesy of Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
People stand outside an Islamic mosque located within an apartment complex, which federal authorities allege was to be targeted in a bomb plot by three Kansas men, is seen in Garden City, Kansas, U.S. October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Adam Shrimplin
Curtis Allen is one of three men from western Kansas in federal court in Wichita on October 14, 2016, charged with conspiring to detonate a bomb at an apartment complex in Garden City, Kan., where Muslim immigrants from Somalia live and worship. (Bo Rader/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
People stand outside an Islamic mosque located within an apartment complex, which federal authorities allege was to be targeted in a bomb plot by three Kansas men, is seen in Garden City, Kansas, U.S. October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Adam Shrimplin
Patrick Eugene Stein is one of three men from western Kansas in federal court in Wichita on October 14, 2016, charged with conspiring to detonate a bomb at an apartment complex in Garden City, Kan., where Muslim immigrants from Somalia live and worship. (Bo Rader/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
People stand outside an Islamic mosque located within an apartment complex, which federal authorities allege was to be targeted in a bomb plot by three Kansas men, is seen in Garden City, Kansas, U.S. October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Adam Shrimplin
Gavin Wright is one of three men from western Kansas in federal court in Wichita on October 14, 2016, charged with conspiring to detonate a bomb at an apartment complex in Garden City, Kan., where Muslim immigrants from Somalia live and worship. (Bo Rader/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images)
The interior of a mosque located within an apartment complex, which federal authorities allege was to be targeted in a bomb plot by three Kansas men, is seen in Garden City, Kansas, U.S. October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Adam Shrimplin
An open door to an Islamic mosque located within an apartment complex, which federal authorities allege was to be targeted in a bomb plot by three Kansas men, is seen in Garden City, Kansas, U.S. October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Adam Shrimplin
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The three men formed a splinter group of the militia Kansas Security Force that came to be known as "the Crusaders," according to the government. Prosecutors allege they tried to recruit other members of the Kansas Security Force to join them.

Stein was recorded discussing the type of fuel and fertilizer bomb that Timothy McVeigh used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, which killed 168 people. Stein was arrested when he delivered 300 pounds of fertilizer to undercover FBI agents.

The government's case included profanity-laced recordings in which militia members referred to the Somalis as "cockroaches."

They had been indicted in October 2016 for plotting an attack for the day after the presidential election in Garden City. Defense lawyers argued that the FBI set up the men, and claim all the talk about violence wasn't serious.

"The FBI was out to get a headline, to make an example out of these men," Allen defense lawyer Melody Brannon said in court, according to the Guardian.

"In America, we don’t imprison people for their thoughts and words. There were no bombs," said Kari Schmidt, who represents Wright, according to the Guardian.

Prosecutors told jurors that the defendants manufactured homemade explosives and tested them.

Stein, Wright and Allen will be sentenced in June.

With News Wire Services

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