Liberal, Kansas: Yes, that is the name of the town that Trump won by 30 percent in 2016, and it is also where three white terrorists allegedly plotted to murder Somali Muslims.
How were they radicalized?
The Huffington Post reports:
“It’s here in a trailer in this town of 20,000 people that three white men — fueled by a steady diet of anti-Muslim online memes and conspiracy theories, and captivated by presidential candidate Trump, who proposed a Muslim ban and proclaimed that ‘Islam hates us‘ — appeared to discuss a plot to massacre Somali Muslim immigrants who lived and worked nearby.”
The three, Patrick Stein, 49, Curtis Allen, 50, and Gavin Wright, 52, are accused of plotting to blow up an apartment complex that houses Somalis — many of whom work at the town’s meat packing plant.
The apartment complex had an on-site mosque
They are accused of amassing fertilizer to make a weapon of mass destruction with the intent kill.
They are also accused of possessing an arsenal of firearms and ammunition.
The FBI claims to have discovered their plans just weeks for the 2016 election. The three men have been in jail ever since.
A jury will deliberate their fate this week. All three face the possibility of life in prison.
In a town that has become increasingly diverse over the years, the jury is also all white.
It is not just Muslims who fear the radicalization of angry, white men in Liberal, Kansas
The Huffington Post described the online environment of racism and fake news in which the accused immersed themselves:
“Evidence presented in the trial painted a picture of an all-American brand of homegrown terrorism: angry white men radicalized by Islamophobic memes and fake online news articles whose path to violent extremism was accelerated by a divisive election cycle and a candidate who sounded like them…
Jurors were played hours of tapes made by an FBI informant who had masqueraded as a militiaman, recording the three defendants as they discussed plans and spewed genocidal hatred of Muslims.
‘The Crusaders,’ as they called themselves, splintered off from a larger Kansas militia group whose members testified that they thought the three men were too extreme. In the recordings, the men followed a familiar script of Islamophobia.”
In other words, these men scared off even other angry, white and radicalized men.
Featured Image by Anadolu Agency / Contributor /Getty Images.