3 men charged in Minnesota mosque bombing

Mar 15, 2018, 02:35
3 men charged in Minnesota mosque bombing

Michael Hari, 47, the owner of Crisis Resolution Security Services, and two other men, Michael McWhorter, 27, and Joe Morris, 22, are facing federal charges for allegedly carrying out the bombing on the Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center last August in Bloomington, Minn., according to a criminal complaint filed in US district court Tuesday.

Officials say they arrested, Michael B. Hari, 47, Joe Morris, 22, Michael McWhorter, 29, and, Ellis Mack, 18, all of Clarence, Ill. All four men are from Clarence, a rural community 35 miles north of Champaign-Urbana.

He also said it was Hari's idea to target a mosque, with the intention to "scare them out of the country".

In January, another informant stated that these men were responsible for the Minnesota mosque and attempted abortion clinic bombings. One of the arrestees, Michael McWhorter, told authorities that the men had been involved in other violent crimes in central IL and Indiana. The pipe bomb, constructed of polyvinyl chloride, known as "PVC", exploded, causing extensive damage. The statement adds that the three men are suspects in the August 5 explosion at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota, and the Women's Health Practice in Champaign on November 7.

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Hari allegedly told McWhorter's brother when he dropped off the guns, "The police will want to come talk to me; can I keep them here until I speak to them?" said the affidavit.

The incident was similar to the attempted bomb attack at an abortion clinic three months later.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the attackers.

Hussein tells The Associated Press that Muslims are glad that the suspects are "no longer a threat to our community".

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The Islamic Center primarily serves Somalis in the Minneapolis area and houses a mosque and religious school for children. Minnesota has the largest Somali community in the United States, according to the most recent census estimates.

Soon after the explosive device was thrown in, the mosque's executive director, Mohamed Omar, said, a member of the congregation rushed outside and saw a truck driving away from the mosque's parking lot. However, the Federal Bureau of Investigation had offered $30,000 as reward for any information leading to the conviction of the bombing. It's unclear if the reward money will be paid. The video didn't show the blast itself.

"That bombing that took place last summer was a tragedy for all Minnesotans", US Attorney Gregory Brooker said, adding that it remains a top priority for law enforcement.

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