Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Three Men Charged With Minnesota Mosque Bombing

Three Men Charged With Minnesota Mosque Bombing

No one at the Minnesota mosque was injured, but the building sustained minor damage.

Law enforcement officers arrested the trio Tuesday morning, March 13, in east-central IL.

"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.

The affidavit filed in support of the District of Minnesota criminal complaint alleges that on August 5, a pipe bomb was thrown through a window of the Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center.

The FBI is leading the investigation into the bombing.

The suspects were identified as 47-year-old Michael B. Hari, 22-year-old Joe Morris and 29-year-old Michael McWhorter. Charges state Hari sometimes resides with his parents because his home has no electricity or running water.

Mr. McWhorter also admitted igniting what he called a "black powder bomb" and throwing it inside the mosque; after he did so, he saw a man who had looked "directly at him", according to the affidavit. 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. 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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"While there are still many questions to be asked, we are grateful the people responsible for this attack will be brought to justice", said Jaylani Hussein, the executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

"What would cause somebody who lives in IL to target this mosque?"

"It's not every day in the United States that a mosque is bombed or a plot to kill Muslims is foiled", he said. "Why this one out of the 75 mosques in Minnesota?" said Asad Zaman, an imam, and Muslim Society of Minnesota executive director.

"It is possible that one of our neighbors of our communities may have put the target on this mosque, forcing individuals who live in IL to attack a mosque in Minnesota", he said. Minnesota has the largest Somali population in the country.

"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.

Mohamed Omar, the centre's executive director, said at the time that the mosque didn't receive any threats beforehand or claims of responsibility afterward.

According to the USA attorney's office in Springfield, Michael B. Hari, Joe Morris, and Michael McWhorter are suspected of carrying out the Bloomington attack, as well as attempting to bomb the Women's Health Practice abortion clinic in Champaign, Illinois, in November.

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