What Has the Media Missed?

Photo: Mel Underbakke.

Resolution has been reached in the Kansas Bomb Plot case with the sentencing of three men on January 25 for conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and conspiracy against civil rights. Two of the men, Curtis Allen and Gavin Wright, were sentenced to 25 years on the first charge, and 10 years on the second, with sentences to be served concurrently.  Wright also received an additional year for lying to the FBI. Patrick Stein, considered to be the ringleader, was sentenced to 30 years.

The targets of the plot were a group of Somali immigrants. Why were they targeted? Because of their race, national origin and their religion, which is Islam. The community was very traumatized, and is still fearful. One of the victims testified by video at the sentencing, saying “Don’t hate us. Please don’t kill us. We are brothers and sisters. Please change your mind.”

This was an undeniably horrible plan that was to take place the day after the 2016 election – if Trump were not elected. Although even the judge expressed doubt that the defendants could have carried out the plot, many innocent people would have died had it succeeded.

Attorneys for the defense argued that the context of the election campaign in 2016 should be taken into account, since then-candidate Donald Trump was warning that radical Muslims were “trying to take over our children.” Wright’s attorneys argued that, “As long as the executive branch ‘condemns Islam and commends…

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