3 men charged in Bloomington Mosque bombing - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

3 men charged in Bloomington Mosque bombing

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BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (KTTC) -

Three men from rural central Illinois have been arrested on gun charges and a connection with the bombing of a Bloomington mosque in August 2017 and an attempted bombing of an Illinois women's health clinic in November 2017. 

A complaint released by U.S. Attorney John Childress on Tuesday announced the arrests of 47-year-old Michael Hari, 29-year-old Michael McWhorter, and 22-year-old Joe Morris, all from Clarence, Illinois, "were responsible for the bombing of a mosque in Bloomington, Minnesota."

The three men, and a fourth person, 18-year-old Ellis Mack who was at the scene, is charged with possession of assault weapons from October 2017 to March 2018.

Hari, McWhorter, and Morris face federal charges in for the bombing at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center as people were getting ready for prayer. No one was injured, but the explosion caused extensive damage to the Imam's office. 

"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.

McWhorter originally denied having any knowledge of the bombing, but according to the complaint, he later admitted that each person had a role in the mosque bombing with Hari as the driver, Morris smashing the window, and McWhorter throwing the bomb.

A confidential source told authorities that Morris said he made the pipe bomb that McWhorter threw into the mosque. Morris also told the source that Hari said he would pay Morris and McWhorter $18,000 for their involvement.

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

The Dar Al-Farooq mosque primarily serves Somalis in the Minneapolis area. Minnesota is home to an estimated 57,000 Somalis, the largest Somali population outside of east Africa, according to the MN State Demographic Center.

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