They called themselves the Crusaders, a small group of men in Kansas who splintered off from a larger local militia group and were allegedly bent on killing Muslim immigrants. In a lengthy story, New York magazine profiles the trio of Patrick Stein, Curtis Allen, and Gavin Wright, now imprisoned on charges of plotting to bomb a Somali mosque and apartment complex in Garden City. The idea was to instigate a "bloodbath" on the day after the 2016 election. Instead, the authorities stepped in and arrested all three in October. As it turns out, another member of the Crusaders was an FBI informant who'd been keeping the agency abreast of their meetings and plans every step of the way.
The story explores the influx of Muslims into the relatively progressive city, where they often work in local meatpacking plants, and additionally profiles Ifrah Ahmed, a young woman who immigrated from Nairobi to Garden City and is an ambassador of sorts for her community. The piece has jarring excerpts of the men's conversations—"If you’re a Muslim, I’m going to enjoy shooting you in the head," says Stein, adding that the sentiment applied to even children—but it also notes how the FBI informant plied them with a fake story of finding an ISIS recruiting flier at the local library and played a key role in advancing the plot. Says one lawyer at a pretrial hearing: “I think it’s unfortunate that if the FBI thought these gentlemen were so dangerous, why would they let this investigation go on for 10 months?" Click for the full story. (Read more Longform stories.)