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The Latest: Kansas governor decries plot against Somalis

This Oct. 14, 2016 photo provided by the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office in Wichita, Kan., shows Curtis Allen. Allen is one of three members of a Kansas militia group were charged Friday Oct. 14, 2016, with plotting to bomb an apartment building filled with Somali immigrants in Garden City, Kan. Acting U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said Allen, Patrick Eugene Stein and Gavin Wright are members of a group calling itself the Kansas Security Force. Beall says the arrests were the culmination of an eight-month investigation. (Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office via AP)
October 17, 2016 - 2:39 PM

WICHITA, Kan. - The Latest on the arrest of three men accused of plotting to attack Somali immigrants in Kansas (all times local):

4:35 p.m.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback says the arrests of three men accused of plotting to attack Somali immigrants in the southwestern corner of his state shows that "no place is immune" from violence.

Brownback told reporters during a news conference: "This is sort of hate and violence doesn't have any place in this country, let alone our state."

He said the global conversation about refugees has been marked by "lots of sharp words."

Brownback continues to back GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has called for strictly limiting Muslims from entering the U.S.

Brownback defended his April decision to withdraw from the federal government's refugee resettlement program. He repeated his argument that President Barack Obama's administration is not doing enough to ensure that potential terrorists are kept out of the country.

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2 p.m.

The family of one of three men accused of plotting to attack Somali immigrants in western Kansas says they are "extremely grateful" to law enforcement for intervening.

Patrick Eugene Stein's family issued a statement Monday through their lawyer, Dan Monnat, saying they were shocked and devastated to learn of the alleged plot. They say they do "not support discrimination of any sort and have never advocated or condoned violence as a solution to differences."

Prosecutors allege that Stein, Curtis Wayne Allen and Gavin Wayne Wright were part of an anti-Muslim, anti-government and anti-immigrant militia group called "the Crusaders" and that they were planning to detonate truck bombs around a small Garden City apartment complex where about 120 Somalis live.

The trio are accused of conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction. They appeared in court earlier Monday and were appointed lawyers, who later declined to comment.

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11:05 a.m.

Three men accused of plotting to attack Somali immigrants in western Kansas have appeared in court and been appointed lawyers.

Magistrate Judge Gwynne Birzer on Monday ordered to remain in custody after federal prosecutor Anthony Mattivi said they pose a danger to the community. Birzer scheduled detention hearings for Stein and Wright for Friday and for Allen next Monday.

Prosecutors allege that the men are members of a small militia group calling itself "the Crusaders," whose members espouse sovereign citizen, anti-government, anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant extremist beliefs. They allege the men planned to detonate truck bombs around a small Garden City apartment complex where about 120 Somalis live and that they had discussed attacking area churches that helped settle the refugees and get them jobs.

The trio is charged in a criminal complaint that was unsealed Friday with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction. Their attorneys declined to comment after the brief hearing in Wichita.

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7:15 a.m.

Three men accused of plotting to target Somali immigrants in a diverse western Kansas community remain in custody for now following their first federal court appearances.

Federal prosecutor Anthony Mattivi told a magistrate judge that the three men pose a danger to the community.

Curtis Wayne Allen, Patrick Eugene Stein and Gavin Wayne Wright are charged in a complaint unsealed Friday with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction.

Defence attorneys declined comment.

Magistrate Judge Gwynne Birzer scheduled detention hearings for Stein and Wright on Friday. Allen's detention hearing is next Monday.

A preliminary hearing was set for Oct. 28, although lawyers told the court they anticipate that hearing will not be needed because a grand jury will likely hand down an indictment before then.

The complaint says the men are members of a small militia group calling itself "the Crusaders," and that its members espouse sovereign citizen, anti-government, anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant extremist beliefs.

Prosecutors allege the men planned to detonate truck bombs around a small Garden City apartment complex where about 120 Somali residents live. Authorities say the men talked of attacking area churches that helped settle refugees and get them jobs.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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