Illinois Men Suspected in Minn. Mosque Bombing


Federal authorities announced on Tuesday that three men from rural central IL have been arrested on gun charges and that they are suspects in the bombing of a Minnesota mosque a year ago and an attempted bombing of an IL abortion clinic.

Michael Mcwhorter, 29, Joe Morris, 22, and Michael B. Hari, 47, were accused of carrying out a pipe bomb attack on the Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota, on August 5 that damaged the building but caused no injuries, according to a statement from the Minnesota U.S. Attorney's Office. The men, all from Clarence, Illinois, are each facing one count of arson and are in federal custody in Urbana, Illinois.

A second informant came forward and proved information on Hari, McWhorter and Morris, saying they responsible for the bombing in Bloomington, Minnesota.

The three men are also charged with the attempted bombing of the Women's Health Practice abortion clinic in Champaign, Illinois, on November 7 2017, according to a statement from the USA attorney's office in Springfield, Illinois.

Federal agents on Tuesday morning said they "executed search warrants at the home of Hari's parents, in Paxton, Ill". An explosive device was thrown through the clinic window but failed to detonate, prosecutors said. One of the arrestees, Michael McWhorter, told authorities that the men had been involved in other violent crimes in central IL and Indiana.

According to the prosecution, McWhorter admitted to his role in the bombing and attempted bombing incidents.

The same day the tip was received, the Ford County Sheriff's Department, the University of Illinois Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation responded to the home addresses provided by the tipster.

"The People of the United States have rejected the Marxist doctrine that the government shall own the means of production", he wrote, according to the court document.

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".

The Dar al-Farooq mosque mainly serves Somalis in the Minneapolis area.

"A witness saw something being thrown at the imam's office window from a van or truck before the blast", Asad Zaman, director of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, said at a news conference. Mosque leaders later released security video from inside the mosque that caught the moments before the explosion, and some smoke and flying debris.