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Case Study in Domestic Terrorism: Garden City, Kansas

October 28, 2016
Plain English Version

Photo credit: Bryan Bihorel

Photo credit: Bryan Bihorel

There was a plot to bomb the homes of Somali immigrants in Garden City, Kansas. The Somalis were among refugees from Myanmar, Mexico, and Sudan. They came to America to escape their war-torn countries.

Many of them found work in the meatpacking industry in Garden City. They were becoming part of America. They were also changing America. For the most part, the people of Garden City welcomed them.

The good news is that the bombing did not happen. The F.B.I. did good work. It arrested three domestic terrorists. They called themselves "the Crusaders." They were anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant.

The terrorists were from Kansas. Their plan was to load four cars packed with explosives. They intended to leave them outside of a building housing Somalis and Burmese refugees.

terror-suspectsThey called their refugee targets "cockroaches.” They said the apartments were "full of goddamn cockroaches." Experts say crimes against Muslims and Arabs have soared since the 9/11 attack. In part, the rise appears to be a backlash against terrorism in the U.S. and Europe.

Violence in America is not new. The bombing, which took place in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1995, took 168 lives. Many of those who died were children. White nationalists were responsible that the bombing.

The people of Garden City have rallied around the newcomers. The police are working with them. Still, the failed attempt at bombing has left many of the Somalis shaken. One man said, "I do not know why they hate us."

One immigrant said, "We live in a small town.” They ask why, of all places, they are the targets in Garden City.

The state of Kansas has not been welcoming to refugees. The US has a program to resettle refugees. The governor withdrew Kansas from the program. The governor also ordered Kansas state agencies not to help Syrian refugees.

Source: The New York Times October 26, 2016

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