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Saturday, 31 March 2018 10:29

FBI informant explains how he met defendants

• Leader & Times
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is Part 1 of the story recapping the direct examination of Dan Day, a witness in the trial against Curtis Allen, Patrick Stein and Gavin Wright. Part 2 will cover the other half of his direct examination testimony.
Testimony has continued in the trial against three area men accused of plotting to bomb a housing complex/mosque area home to more than 100 Somali Muslims in Garden City. Wednesday’s testimony ended with the beginning of testimony from Dan Day, who worked as an undercover informant in the case. Day’s testimony also took up all of Thursday’s proceedings.
Day became involved with the FBI in 2016 after an incident at the Garden City library, which occurred before he met the defendants.
“I had gone to the library that day and I saw an anti-Israel sign in the window there, which I took down because I felt it had no business being there,” Day said “So I gave the sign to an employee.”
Soon after that, Day said he and his son received an invitation to a barbeque which featured several members of the 3 Percent Militia, who had heard about the incident with the sign. Soon after the beginning of the gathering, Day said, the conversation turned to alleged ISIS and ISIL recruitment flyers supposedly being guarded by Somalians at the library, which made the gathered crowd at the barbeque angry, Day said. Day added there were more concerns raised among the gathering about Somalians living in Southwest Kansas, including the possibility of an imminent attack. At the end of the barbeque, Day said, he left with his son and soon afterward came his first contact with the FBI with agent Amy Kuhn.
“I remember feeling somewhat blindsided by it all,” Day said.
Day shared information about the earlier barbeque gathering, including his views on the barbeque attendees themselves.
“They seemed very trigger-happy,” Day said. “They also seemed very eager to survey the Somalians and were very serious about what they wanted to do.”
Day further testified Kuhn asked him to keep in touch and eventually became closer to the militia group, which was being led by a man named Jason Crick.
“I was simply there to gather information and keep an eye on things that didn’t seem right like over-surveillance or harassment,” Day said.
The group frequently did surveillance on the Somalians living in the area, which Day took part in on a few occasions. Day further testified how the group wanted to keep an eye on the Somali Muslims living in the area to make sure they were not “raising money or providing other support for terrorist groups.” Day added there would be several militia members on these surveillance jobs and they would be spread out and kept in touch via radio for updates.
“During these times, was there anything worrisome noted?” Prosecution Attorney Risa Berkower asked.
“Not that I observed,” Day said. “There was no cash or drugs being traded, nothing really worrisome like that. Mostly what I saw was a different group of people and a different culture.”
Eventually, Day said, he met defendant Patrick Stein at a training exercise for the first time. Stein soon expressed his thoughts regarding Muslims, which Day said took him rather aback.
“When the topic of Muslims came up, he expressed a lot of hatred and dislike for them,” Day testified. “He would get extremely angry when talking about the Somalians but would seem normal when talking about other topics, it was almost like a Jekyll and Hyde situation. I was extremely concerned.”
Stein’s comments were different from the other members’ remarks and a couple weeks later, Day shared his impressions of Stein to Kuhn and was asked to keep in touch. Later on, Day said, a surveillance job in the area of a Dollar General in Garden City turned rather dark.
“We were doing surveillance in that area and there were these two Somali ladies who had walked out of the store and all of a sudden Stein got very irate and started yelling and cursing about how they were ‘raghead bitches’ and he seemed mad about them walking around,” Day said. “He had the window down so I know these ladies could hear him and they looked scared. Stein had actually started to pull out his handgun out and I actually had a hand on my handgun and I was ready to stop him if he had gotten out to try and start something.”
Stein eventually calmed down, Day continued, and later on, Stein revealed he was also a member of the Kansas Security Force and threatened Day to not tell anyone about his membership in the group. Day said he took the threat seriously and later told Kuhn what had happened.
Day also talked about how Stein recapped other surveillance jobs he had done in the area and added he took part in a few more of the surveillance jobs with the 3 Percent Militia and kept in touch with Stein, eventually joining the KSF and becoming a vetting and intelligence officer for the group and eventually meeting co-defendant Curtis Allen, who was in charge of the KSF’s 1st division. Day also went into more detail about the calls that took place on the Zello smartphone app, which he testified would each last one to two hours and would frequently mention Muslims in the area.
“Initially, I didn’t take them very seriously because I originally thought they were just venting opinions at first,” Day said.
Day also talked about the first time he met co-defendant Gavin Wright at a KSF gathering in Sublette.
“He was a participant on Zello every night and he started sharing the same views on Somalis and Muslims as the other two,” Day said.
“So out of the three defendants, which would you say was the most vocal?” Berkower asked.
“Stein,” Day said.
Day then identified the defendants’ voices on brief audio recordings before a long list of audio recordings was admitted into evidence before the court. Day further testified before a June 2016 meeting, he was given a recording device from the FBI before heading to a meeting on Brody Benson’s property. Like Benson’s testimony, Day said a prominent topic among those gathered was the recent Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. Many audio clips from before and during this meeting were played before the court including Stein’s side of a phone conversation that occurred while driving to Benson’s property as well as recordings featuring remarks of wanting to “kick things off” and other remarks not too dissimilar from what was already being said during the Zello calls.




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