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Militiamen blame Trump’s rhetoric for planned attack

Roxana Hegeman
Associated Press

Wichita, Kan. – Attorneys for three Kansas militia members who conspired to bomb a mosque and apartment complex housing Somali immigrants have asked the court to take into account what they called President Donald Trump’s rhetoric encouraging violence at their sentencing next month.

This combination of Oct. 14, 2016, file booking photos provided by the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office in Wichita, Kan., shows from top-left, Patrick Stein, Curtis Allen and Gavin Wright, three members of a Kansas militia group who were charged with plotting to bomb an apartment building filled with Somali immigrants in Garden City, Kan.

One attorney also asked the judge to consider the fact that all of them read and shared on their Facebook feed Russian propaganda designed to sow discord in the U.S. political system.

A federal jury convicted Patrick Stein, Gavin Wright and Curtis Allen of conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction against civil rights in April. Wright was also found guilty of lying to the FBI.

Sentencing is Nov. 19 and 20.

Prosecutors are seeking life terms for all three while the defense is pleading for a shorter time.