Kansas terror plot’s Georgia connection

Three members of a Kansas militia group accused of plotting to blow up an apartment complex housing Somali immigrants are part of a larger militia movement with ties in Georgia.

Federal authorities have charged Curtis Wayne Allen, 49; Patrick Eugene Stein, 47; and Gavin Wayne Wright, 49, with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction. The federal complaint, a product of months of undercover investigation, claims the men targeted the Garden City complex in southwest Kansas because the residents are Muslim.

Curtis Allen is one of three men from western Kansas in federal court in Wichita on Friday, Oct. 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)

Curtis Allen

Patrick Eugene Stein is one of three men from western Kansas in federal court in Wichita on Friday, Oct. 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)

Patrick Eugene Stein

Gavin Wright is one of three men from western Kansas in federal court in Wichita on Friday, Oct. 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)

Gavin Wright

The men are part of a group called the Kansas Security Force, a extremist group that espouses anti-federal government and anti-immigrant philosophies and is part of a larger militia movement known as “Three Percenters” that also is active in Georgia.

Last month, members of the Georgia Security Force III% were among those protesting in the Covington town square over a mosque and cemetery proposed in rural Newton County. Armed members of the group, led by former Marine Chris Hill of Henry County, claimed without evidence that the mosque could be used as an ISIS training ground.

Members of the group carried semi-automatic weapons in the town square, but Hill said, “We’re not violent people, we’re just people with an opinion.” Hill referred to the planned development as an “Islamic compound.”

In an interview with The Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Hatewatch” following the arrests in Kansas, Hill denied knowing the suspects:

Hill, who also serves as the Georgia chapter head, told Hatewatch that his group is “associated” with one KSF group, but that there are multiple. Hill stated that the group he is associated with is run by Ronald Greek, but Hill claimed he only talks to Greek “one time a year.” Hill went on to say that he was not familiar with any of the three men arrested in Kansas today.

September 13, 2016 COVINGTON Chris Hill, commanding officer of the III% Georgia Security Force, speaks to the news media during a protest against building a mosque in Newton County held on the town square, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016, in Covington. Curtis Compton /ccompton@ajc.com

September 13, 2016 COVINGTON Chris Hill, commanding officer of the III% Georgia Security Force, speaks to the news media during a protest against building a mosque in Newton County held on the town square, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016, in Covington. Curtis Compton /ccompton@ajc.com

Georgia Security Force III% is the most active of several militia groups in Georgia and participated as “security” in a number of pro-Confederate flag rallies at Stone Mountain in the past year. Militia adherents that have split off from the group have referred to Hill as “dangerous” and a publicity seeker.

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