Terrorism in Kansas: 3 arrested for plot on Garden City mosque and housing complex

(WIBW/CBS) - Three Kansas men face domestic terrorism charges related to what the FBI says say was a planned attack on Somali immigrants in the western Kansas meatpacking town of Garden City.

Curtis Allen and Gavin Wright, both 49, and of Liberal, and Patrick Stein, 47, of Wright, are slated to appear in federal court, each facing a count of conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction (explosives). If convicted, they face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

"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.

"Many Kansans may find it as startling as I do that such things could happen here," he continued.

Officials say the three were planning to bomb an apartment complex and mosque in Garden City occupied by Somali refugees. The FBI says the men planned to carry out the attack on Nov. 9, the day after the election.

Authorities say the trio had conducted surveillance to find potential targets, stockpiled weapons, and planned to issue a manifesto at the time of the bombing. They said the suspects said the attack was intended to "wake people up."

Beall says they allegedly wanted to fill four vehicles with explosives, then park them at the four corners of the apartment complex, which housed a mosque as well as a large number of Somali immigrants, and detonate the vehicles.

All three suspects have been under investigation since February. They were reportedly key members of a group called the Crusaders. A confidential source attended group meetings and gave the FBI information about the suspects, authorities said.