3 rural Illinois men charged in Bloomington mosque bombing

Three Men Arrested On Gun Charges Are Now Suspects In The Minnesota Mosque Bombing

Three Men Arrested On Gun Charges Are Now Suspects In The Minnesota Mosque Bombing

McWhorter will make his initial appearance in connection with the attempted IL bombing at a later date.

Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Mr. McWhorter, Mr. Hari, Mr. Morris and a fourth man - Ellis Mack, 18 - on Tuesday morning.

The explosion on August 5 rocked the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center early on a Saturday morning. No one was injured, but the explosion caused extensive damage to the Imam's office.

The affidavit describes a tangled, hateful criminal enterprise in which the four men from a rural part of IL, more than 500 miles from Bloomington, Minn., hoarded high-powered guns, made bombs and committed robberies at a drug dealer's house and three Wal-Mart Stores.

One of the men, Michael B. Hari, 47, described in an April 2017 Chicago Tribune article how he drafted a $10 billion plan to build a wall along the border with Mexico, citing US President Donald Trump's call for such a wall. According to the affidavit, Hari often stays at his parents' home because his home has no running water or electricity.

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.


He also said it was Hari's idea to target a mosque, with the intention to "scare them out of the country". 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. All three hail from Clarence, a small rural community and it is still unclear why they targeted the specific Minnesota mosque more than 500 miles from where they reside.

Executive director Jaylani Hussein of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations says the arrests are "definitely a relief".

Authorities also linked Hari, Morris, and McWhorter to a pipe bomb left in a surgical room, but did not explode at Women's Health Practice in Champaign. 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.

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.

"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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