Wichita Muslims hope for better understanding after Kansas terror plot

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Three Kansas men are facing federal charges, after police say they planned to bomb a southwest Kansas apartment and mosque.

According to a complaint filed Friday, Gavin Wright, Curtis Allen and Patrick Stein were targeting that Garden City apartment because it was home to more than 100 Somali immigrants and Muslims.

The terror plot has left the Wichita Muslim community hoping for better understanding.

The Islamic Society of Wichita is home to between 1,500 to 2,500 Muslims.

Hussam Madi is a spokesperson for the ISW.

Madi says the terror plot in Garden City has left Muslims here in Wichita scared.

“Definitely, anybody that sees something so close to them, scared for their lives, scared for their families,” said Madi.

Madi says they are trying to ease concerns of their community members here, following the events in western Kansas.

“We tell them the authorities do talk to us, local police, local enforcement, FBI and assure us if we see of anything, hear of anything, they’re doing their job,” said Madi.

Madi says the incident in Garden City does have them reviewing security measures, just to be safe.

“We do have a system in place that we do watch and take care of, but also when incidents like this happen, we do increase, being more vigilant, watching the security cameras, especially at night time,” said Madi.

However, members of the Islamic Society, like Mustafa Terrell, are holding out hope that communities of varying backgrounds in Kansas can learn about each other.

“We have to build a relationship where we can share what are we doing here, what is Islam, why are we standing in this line praying,” said Terrell.

A sentiment echoed by Madi.

“That is very crucial and very important to have these dialogues and building bridges across all american cultures and with the cultures they brings,” said Madi.

The three men will be arraigned in federal tomorrow here in Wichita on weapons of mass destruction charges.