Illinois Men Suspected in Minn. Mosque Bombing

Michael Hari mugshot via The News Gazette
Michael Hari in a 2017 police mugshot

Michael Hari mugshot via The News Gazette Michael Hari in a 2017 police mugshot

Three Illinois men have been arrested and charged in connection with the August bombing of a mosque in a Minneapolis suburb, federal officials said Tuesday. The authorities say that the men, who are all from Clarence, Ill., were illegally in possession of assault rifles from October 2017 to March 2018.

The explosion at Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington happened early Saturday just before morning prayers and caused extensive damages to the imam's office but did not injure anyone. That's where an IED exploded while five people were in the building.

"That bombing that took place last summer has been a tragedy for all Minnesotans", said Greg Brooker, acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents arrested Hari this morning as he was traveling to a court appearance in Ford county, Illinois, for a hearing in a pending assault case against Hari. According to the affidavit, Hari often stays at his parents' home because his home has no running water or electricity.

According to the affidavit, Mr. McWhorter told a law enforcement official that during the attempted bombing at the Women's Heath Practice in Champaign, Ill., Mr. Morris had been dropped off at the clinic in the middle of the night, smashed the clinic window and thrown an explosive device inside.

McWhorter originally denied having any knowledge of the mosque bombing, but according to the complaint, he later admitted to it, stating he, Hari and Morris drove to Minnesota in a rented vehicle.

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.

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

Anti-Muslim incidents rose sharply in the United States in the year after the 2016 US presidential election, according to a review by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Hussein and other leaders agree one question remains.

Democratic National Committee deputy chairman and Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison on Wednesday called it "an outrage" that President Donald Trump has not condemned the weekend bombing of a Minnesota mosque as a terrorist attack.

Authorities say they also found four assault riles, three of which turned out to be fully automatic.

The Islamic Center primarily serves Somalis in the Minneapolis area and houses a mosque and religious school for children.

"If you don't understand Muslims or Islam, then go and learn, be curious, inspire some empathy", said JaNae' Bates, pastor and ISAIAH communications director. According to the affidavit, law enforcement agents have gathered evidence to indicate that Hari, McWhorter and Morris were responsible for the Bloomington bombing and the attempted bombing of the Women's Health Practice, an abortion clinic, in Champaign on November 7.

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