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Three men were found guilty Wednesday of conspiring to blow up an apartment complex in western Kansas that housed Somali immigrants.

Attorneys for two of the Kansas men accused of plotting to bomb an apartment complex filled with Somali Muslim immigrants in Garden City argued their clients were bit players not interested in actually carrying out the plan.  

Defense attorneys for two of the men charged in an alleged bomb plot in western Kansas argued their clients were manipulated by the FBI into remaining part of the conspiracy.

Cross examination of Dan Day, the paid FBI informant in the case, wrapped up Wednesday, with the defense asking him why he didn’t put a stop to the plot earlier when he had the chance.

An FBI informant’s account of the investigation into an alleged bomb plot in western Kansas was called into question Tuesday.

A key witness in the trial involving three Kansas men accused of planning an attack on Somali immigrants testified Thursday that the group was actively recruiting people to help carry out the alleged plot.

Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office

Federal prosecutors told jurors Thursday that three men charged with plotting to bomb an apartment complex and mosque in western Kansas were motivated by their hate of Muslim immigrants.

“They wanted to send the message that Muslims are not welcome here — not in Garden City, not in Kansas, not in America,” prosecutor Risa Berkower said.

Her opening statement in the Wichita trial laid out a case that only the work of federal agents stopped, the trio from carrying out a bombing the day after the Nov. 8, 2016, presidential election.

Frank Morris / KCUR 89.3

Three militia members accused of plotting to bomb a mosque and apartment complex in southwest Kansas go on trial Tuesday in Wichita.

Their alleged plot laid bare tiny pockets of the ugliest, potentially violent, racism in a region that’s seen immigrants drawn to tough meatpacking jobs for decades.

The raw hate exposed in the alleged plan shocked some of the refugees who were targeted, reminding them of violence they fled in Somalia and sparking an exodus from one of the prairie towns.

It also prompted more people to talk with admiration of the workforce that keeps the meatpacking industry, and the region’s economy, alive. They’ve reached out to the would-be targets of domestic terrorism.

“We all give each other a chance here,” says LeVita Rohlman, who directs the Catholic Agency for Migration and Refugee Services in Garden City. “Even when things go wrong. I believe that this community stands united.”

The plot took root near Dodge City, at the easternmost point of a the Kansas meatpacking triangle formed with Liberal and Dodge City. All three Great Plains cities have for generations drawn immigrants for the smelly, dangerous work of transforming cattle into steaks and hamburger. It’s work that few U.S.-born Americans take on.

Joe Gratz / Creative Commons-Flickr

Federal officials are moving to strip the naturalization of a U.S. citizen who pleaded guilty several years ago to sending more than $1 million to Iraq in violation of U.S. sanctions.

Mubarak Ahmed Hamed, 61, was sentenced to 58 months in federal prison. He was released from a facility in Texarkana, Texas, in August 2016.

The Columbia, Missouri, resident and native of Sudan was executive director of the Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA), which was based in Columbia and served as the U.S. office of the Islamic Relief Agency based in Khartoum, Sudan.

Frank Morris / KCUR 89.3

Monday's bombing in Manchester, England, shows the global war on terrorism has been unsuccessful thus far in stopping extremist violence. Today, former Department of State advisor Steven Koltai suggests a new approach to stopping the bloodshed: encouraging entrepreneurship.

Lynsey Addario

Your job might be challenging, but Lynsey Addario's is literally a battlefield. She's been injured, ambushed, and kidnapped while working as a photojournalist in war-torn countries like Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. Today, we learn why the results motivate her to continue crafting stories out of conflict. Then, the life of a major league ace isn't all about 100 mile-per-hour fastballs ... or is it? We talk about the evolution of pitching with writer Terry McDermott.

A Columbia man allegedly plotting a Presidents Day terrorist attack was charged in federal court Tuesday.

Tammy Dickerson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, says 25-year-old Robert Lorenzo Hester Jr., 25, believed he was meeting with members of ISIS who were actually undercover law enforcement agents.

Peggy Lowe / Harvest Public Media

When Don Stull first heard the news that the FBI had foiled a domestic terrorism plot aimed at Somalis in Garden City, Kansas,  he thought: oh no.

“It was so unlike the Garden City that I know,” he says.

Nina Subin

Ayad Akhtar won the Pulitzer Prize back in 2013 for his play Disgraced, about a successful corporate lawyer who has hidden his Pakistani Muslim heritage.

  In this edition of Up To Date, the Ethics Professors, joined by Angie Blumel of the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault, wade through the controversy surrounding an editorial in The Kansas City Star that encouraged rape victims to "accept [their] role in what happened." We also look at the impact violent images in the media have, and whether or not the political process is "rigged" to exclude the wishes of regular voters.

 Guests:

Courtesy U2D, Inc.

A device that could improve homeland security, help the military and protect workers in nuclear facilities and hospitals has won a coveted award for a team led by a UMKC professor.

Physics professor Anthony Caruso led a team of 20 student researchers plus researchers at MU-Columbia and Kansas State University and two private companies in taking the product from concept through prototype to production.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

Earlier this month, a gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., killing 49 people and injuring 53 more in a mass shooting. The vast majority of the victims were LGBTQ individuals, mainly Latino or other people of color.

When news broke that the gunman's name was Omar Mateen, another group came into the spotlight: the Muslim community.

Attacks like the one in Orlando, or San Bernardino, or even closer to home in Overland Park, Kansas, seem random and terrifying. How can local law enforcement prevent something like that from happening again? How does surveillance both protect our safety, yet still preserve our civil liberties?

And, in the aftermath of Orlando, a representative from our local Muslim community shares how it feels to be part of a "targeted group."

Guests: 

A day after 49 people were killed in a  mass shooting at a gay club in Orlando, LGBTQ and Islamic leaders reflect on how the tragedy affects their communities. 

Guests:

  • Dustin Cates is the artistic director of the Heartland Men's Chorus.
  • Moben Mirza is the secretary of the Islamic Center of Johnson County. 

A little more than a year after the Sept. 11th attacks, more than 1,500 cassette tapes were recovered from a house that Osama bin Laden once occupied. Those tapes were vetted then passed from the FBI to CNN, Williams College and then Yale, until someone else took the time to actually listen.

Guest:

Meg Hilling / Twitter

Missouri Journalism student Meg Hilling didn't hear the explosion Tuesday morning at Brussels' Maelbeek metro station. But by the time she got to the office of Politico, where she is interning this semester, she saw "tons of police officers and ambulances" streaming toward the station just a few blocks away. 

"It's very surreal," Hilling says. "You see events like this on TV. All morning long all we've heard are sirens and police whistles." 

When it comes to our war on terrorism, boots on the ground and bombers in the air are only part of the struggle. What we know about the culture behind ISIS and how the United States portrays itself to the world makes for a different kind of weapon.

Guest:

We know the violent tragedies by the cities where they happened — San Bernardino, Paris, Newtown. Seeing the casualties and the details of what happened can be difficult for anyone to deal with them. But how do you explain these events and what they mean to a child?

Guests:

  • Amy Nine is a social worker at Comanche Elementary School in the Shawnee Mission School District.
  • Dr. Rochelle Harris is a clinical psychologist at Children’s Mercy Hospital.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

Kansas City-area Muslims say anxiety among the community is as high as it’s been since 9/11.

Terrorist attacks in Paris and around the world combined with increased anti-Muslim rhetoric has caused a spike in hate mail and venomous posts on social media.

There have been overt acts of aggression against Muslims in several cities in the United States in recent days. Local leaders say the issue of Syrian refugees has fueled Islamophobia, as well.

There isn’t a day that goes by without hearing news coverage about the group that calls itself the Islamic State. Many Muslim leaders would say the actions and ideology of the group aren’t Islamic.  We explore how close the terrorist group is to the religion from which it takes its name. 

Guests:

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

The phrase reads “Not In My Name" and local Muslims with the Islamic Center of Johnson County want to see it on banners and T-shirts across the Islamic community in the Kansas City region.

Sporting a white T-shirt with #NotInMyName in bold blue letters across the front, local real estate broker Afir Ahmad says Muslims must publicly denounce acts of terrorism in the name of Islam.

“We want to disassociate ourselves from these murderers," he said in an interview after a midday prayer service Friday.

Frank Morris / KCUR

Kansas U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom announced Friday that a 20-year-old Topeka, Kansas man has been charged in a plot to detonate a suicide bomb at the U.S. Army base in Fort Riley.

Grissom said that John T. Booker, Jr., also known as Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, has been charged with one count of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, one count of attempting to damage property by means of an explosive and one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

He could face a maximum sentence of life in federal prison if convicted.

Valentina Cala / Flickr-CC

The suspected shooters who killed 10 journalists from French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and two police officers in an attack Wednesday have been connected to Al-Qaeda by many sources.

The Council on American Islamic Relations cautions that jumping to conclusions about the attackers can deepen anti-Islamic sentiments both intentionally and unintentionally.

Creative Commons

In the aftermath of the shootings at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom on April 13, a suspect has been charged with murder and hate crime charges will likely be filed against him.

As that question looms, Central Standard inquires into the nature of the word hate — its psychological underpinnings, as well as the definition of hate crime in our legal code. 

Guests:

An employee of the Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita, Kan., has been arrested in what Kansas U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said was a plan to bomb the airport.

Terry Lee Loewen was identified as an alleged plotter earlier this year, according to the FBI special agent-in-charge at the Kansas City regional office, Michael Kaske.

Authorities say 58-year-old Loewen thought he was driving a car with a bomb onto airport tarmac when arrested Friday. No one was injured.

Peter Farlow

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The road to answers on why someone would bomb the Boston Marathon, the nation’s oldest annual one, remains long, and difficult.

In this edition of "A Fan's Notes," commentator Victor Wishna looks for inspiration in the marathon itself.

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