***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***
October 15, 2016
Progressive Congress Statement on Thwarted Terrorist Attack Against Somali Families
Washington, D.C — According to the U.S. Justice Department, three men who are part of a militia group calling themselves “The Crusaders” have been arrested for planning to detonate a bomb at the site of a mosque and housing complex in Garden City, Kansas, in a terrorist attack meant to target the local Somali families who live and worship there. Progressive Congress applauds the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who conducted an eight-month investigation that directly led to the apprehension and arrest of these three men.
This could have been a horrific attack. We must stand up against those who would attempt to channel their hatred and bigotry into violence, and in particular against the rising tide of Islamophobia that has inspired other similar attacks. Progressive Congress is glad the community members are all safe and that this would-be act of terrorism has been thwarted.
“This planned attack is profoundly disturbing, but, sadly, it's not surprising,” stated Dr. Gabriela D. Lemus, President of Progressive Congress. “The climate of race-baiting, Islamophobia and immigrant-bashing that has been fostered during this presidential cycle has engendered an environment where extremist groups — whether tacitly or explicitly — feel encouraged to promote their particular brand of hate and destruction. These actions do not reflect the America we know and love. It is time to put these sick bullies in their place and stop them in their tracks. Thankfully, the FBI’s close monitoring of the organization was successful in preventing a heinous crime against innocent civilians.”
Recently, there has been a wave of hate crimes and acts of terror based on perceived religion, ethnicity, or immigrant background. An interactive map produced by Muslim Advocates tracks all instances of hate crimes against Muslims or perceived Muslims in the United States. The ongoing pattern of hate-fueled violence continues to affect not only Muslims but many immigrant communities, Somalis included, who are coming under attack by a small minority of bigoted individuals whose values do not match those of our country.