Garden City refugees talk life after bomb plot

Garden City residents Halima Farah and Ifrah Ahmed

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – It’s been one year since authorities stopped an anti-Islamic bomb plot that would have destroyed a Garden City apartment complex, home to 100 Somali refugees. It’s known as the “Kansas Plot.”

On Saturday, the one year anniversary, Garden City refugees reflected on the past year.

“Terror, fear,” said Ifrad Ahmed, recalling how she felt when she learned about the plot against her community. “Having to leave, start all over again.”

“It was scary and traumatic,” recounted Halima Farah.

Last year’s terror threat was almost enough to drive members of the Somali community out of Garden City, out of fear.

Cousins Farah and Ahmed say they, and others, stayed because of the response from locals.

“The support, that made a big difference, the support from everybody,” said Ahmed. “We didn’t expect that.”

That support created countless new friendships this past year.

“One of the reasons why I’ll never leave this town is because of the people,” said Ahmed. “The people make a big difference.”

“The people, the friends that we have here,” added Farah.

They’ve been in Garden City for years. They’re both working at the Tyson plant and earning their college degrees.

“She’s working on a paper about the American dream,” said Ahmed, pointing to her cousin. “Isn’t that funny?”

One year after the bomb threat, they say their community refuses to be scared.

“It’s really great to see that people have moved on from that,” said Ahmed. “Nobody really talks about the bomb threat or even mentions it anymore.”

The cousins spent the anniversary studying, working to build a better life.

“My dream? To become rich one day,” joked Farah.

“You mean in your heart, right,” asked Ahmed, teasing her cousin. “She wants to be rich in her heart.”

“Deep down in my heart,” said Farah.

Ahmed just applied for her citizenship and is studying psychology. Halima wants to be a nurse. Their resilience is partly inspired by another strong woman.

“A wise woman once said, ‘When you do your best, people notice, and when you do your best, you will get where you want to be,’” said Ahmed. “Oprah Winfrey. She’s my favorite.”

As KSN has been reporting over the past year, the community has launched several different programs for southwest Kansas refugees, including translation services and a special clinic.

The clinic, however, has since closed.


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