WICHITA, Kan. The twin brother of one of the three men accused of plotting to bomb a small apartment complex housing Somali refugees in Garden City says his family is shocked by the arrest and possible charges his brother faces.
"It's really unbelievable that you know someone that could be accused of being involved in something like this," says Kevin Allen, the twin brother of Curtis Allen.
Kevin Allen says his brother was opinionated on how his country should be and shared his political views, but never felt Curtis's views would escalate to a radical point of intending harm on others.
Growing up, Kevin say he and Curtis did everything together, spending their early years in rural Oklahoma before moving to southwest Kansas when they were 12.
"I think our upbringing was fairly normal for this part of the county, ya know," Kevin says.
He says both parents were in the home and loved their children.
"Raised in a family that we were taught right from wrong, and we went to church sometimes," Kevin says. "We believed in Jesus. We were just like your average Midwestern family."
Out of high school, Kevin says he and Curtis went into the military. After Kevin completed his service, he says Curtis continued his military career with the National Guard.
"He went over and served in Iraq, and then when he came back, it was a little different," Kevin says.
He described Curtis, living near Liberal, as "kind of a loner."
"I have to call him to talk to him, stuff like that," Kevin says.
He says Curtis is not married and does not have any children.
While he says he can't explain nor defend the accusations against Curtis, Kevin says his brother suffered from PTSD and receives disability benefits from his military service. Growing up, Kevin says Curtis also suffered from head injuries.
"I'm not saying that any of this justifies what they're accused of doing, but, I mean, you know, I have some friends in the military that suffer from PTSD. And it seems like sometimes they have anger issued and they have trouble processing their thoughts," Kevin says.
Kevin says he knew his brother had been involved in a militia, but did not know any specifics about the group nor Curtis's involvement.
"As far as what it was, or where it was located," I have no idea," he says.
Kevin says he did not know Gavin Wright or Patrick Stein, the two men accused with Curtis Allen in the Garden City bomb plot.
The news of Curtis's arrest reached Kevin through a phone call from his wife. He says his oldest son saw the story break on the news.
"It's shocking, Kevin says. "It's something you never think of, that you're gonna have to deal with. Something that you never think you're gonna have to process; that you are related to someone that does something or (is) accused of doing something so terrible."
Kevin says his family still loves and cares for Curtis, though they're saddened by the circumstances and the reported plot against innocent people. On behalf of his family, Kevin says he's also thankful for the work of law enforcement to make sure that nobody was hurt.
He says he wants the Somali refugees reported to be targets of the plot in Garden City to know that they deserve to feel safe and secure.
"I would hope that they know the way America is supposed to work," Kevin says. "People that come to America come here for all kinds of reasons, but mostly, probably, to better themselves and to have more opportunity then where they grew up or where they left from. And I would just let them know that those opportunities still exist and that America is still the greatest country in the world. That's about it. I mean, I'm glad they're safe."
***PHOTOS COURTESY OF KEVIN ALLEN***