Quantcast

3 Illinois Men Charged With Minnesota Mosque Bombing - LEX18.com | Continuous News and StormTracker Weather

3 Illinois Men Charged With Minnesota Mosque Bombing

Posted: Updated:
Dar Al farooq Center / Facebook Dar Al farooq Center / Facebook

CHICAGO (AP) - Federal authorities on Tuesday charged three men from rural central Illinois with the bombing of a Minnesota mosque last year and said one of the suspects told an investigator the goal of the attack was to "scare" Muslims out of the United States.

A statement from the U.S. attorney's office in Springfield, Illinois, says the men also are suspected in the attempted bombing of an abortion clinic in November.

The Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota, was bombed just before morning prayers on Aug. 5, causing extensive damage although no one was injured or killed. There was an attempt bomb the Champaign, Illinois, Women's Health Practice on Nov. 7.

The three men are identified as Michael B. Hari, 47; Joe Morris, 22; Michael McWhorter, 29.  All are from Clarence, a rural community 35 miles (56 kilometers) north of Champaign-Urbana. A fourth man was charged with a gun offense, but he was not identified as a suspect bombing or attempted bombing.

McWhorter allegedly told an FBI agent during an interview that the three rented a pickup in Champaign and drove to Minnesota with a plan to bomb the mosque, according to a criminal complaint. He said they wanted to let Muslims know they are not welcome in the United States and "scare them out of the country," according to notes taken by the FBI.

It wasn't clear from the complaint why the men may have targeted a mosque so far from Illinois.

Morris told one informant that Hari had promised to pay him and McWhorter $18,000 for participating in the mosque bombing, according to the complaint.

McWhorter also allegedly admitted that the three men tried to bomb the abortion clinic on Nov. 7, again renting a truck to carry out the attack. McWhorter described a PVC pipe bomb and said Morris broke a window and threw it in, where it failed to go off, according to the complaint.

The complaint also said nothing about a possible motivation for the clinic attack.

The complaint said a tip led authorities to investigate the men, with a person sending the Ford County sheriff photos of guns and bomb-making material inside Hari's parents' home, where Hari often stayed. The tipster eventually became one of two informants in the case, according to the complaint.

Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Muslim advocacy and civil liberties group Council on American-Islamic Relations, welcomed news of the arrests.

"This is definitely a relief that this case is finally to conclusion and those assailants-slash-suspects are apprehended and no longer a threat to our community," Hussein said in a telephone interview Tuesday.

The mosque primarily serves Somalis in the Minneapolis area. Minnesota is home to the largest Somali community outside of east Africa, with an estimated 57,000 people, according to the most recent census estimates.

Mohamed Omar, the center's executive director, said at the time that the mosque didn't receive any threats beforehand or claims of responsibility afterward. The FBI had offered a $30,000 reward for information that leads to a conviction in the bombing.

Officials said at the time that witnesses saw someone throw something from a truck or van before the blast and saw a vehicle speed away afterward. Mosque leaders later released security video from inside the mosque that caught the moments before the explosion, and some smoke and flying debris. The video didn't show the blast itself.

Gov. Mark Dayton called the bombing an act of terrorism when he and other officials visited the mosque the day after the explosion.

___

Forliti reported from Minneapolis.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

WEATHER
MaxTrack Doppler
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Five-Years Since Brookelyn Farthing Disappeared

    Five-Years Since Brookelyn Farthing Disappeared

    Friday, June 22 2018 8:35 PM EDT2018-06-23 00:35:49 GMT

    BEREA, Ky. (LEX 18) - Friday marked five years since a Madison County teen disappeared after attending a party. 18-year-old Brookelyn Farthing was last seen at a house in Berea. She texted family members saying she wanted to come home, but would catch a ride with a friend. Brookelyn's sister also said she sent a few messages saying she felt "unsafe."

    BEREA, Ky. (LEX 18) - Friday marked five years since a Madison County teen disappeared after attending a party. 18-year-old Brookelyn Farthing was last seen at a house in Berea. She texted family members saying she wanted to come home, but would catch a ride with a friend. Brookelyn's sister also said she sent a few messages saying she felt "unsafe."

  • Driver Electrocuted In Construction Site Accident

    Driver Electrocuted In Construction Site Accident

    Saturday, June 23 2018 6:49 AM EDT2018-06-23 10:49:38 GMT

    LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) - The coroner is on the scene of an accident in the Squires Road area of Lexington. He tells LEX 18 that a man was electrocuted. 

    LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) - The coroner is on the scene of an accident in the Squires Road area of Lexington. He tells LEX 18 that a man was electrocuted. 

  • Rickhouse Collapses At Bardstown Distillery

    Rickhouse Collapses At Bardstown Distillery

    Friday, June 22 2018 7:30 PM EDT2018-06-22 23:30:10 GMT
    The Nelson County GazetteThe Nelson County Gazette

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Emergency officials say a large section of a bourbon storage warehouse has collapsed at a distillery in Kentucky.

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Emergency officials say a large section of a bourbon storage warehouse has collapsed at a distillery in Kentucky.

Powered by Frankly

© LEX18.com 2018, LEX18.com
A CORDILLERA COMMUNICATIONS Station
All rights reserved
Privacy Policy, | Terms of Service, and Ad Choices

Can't find something?