Muslim Leaders Speak About Bloomington Mosque Bombing Arrests

Michael Hari mugshot via The News Gazette
Michael Hari in a 2017 police mugshot

Michael Hari mugshot via The News Gazette Michael Hari in a 2017 police mugshot

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.

McWhorter admitted the involvement of the three men in the mosque bombing and the attempted bombing of the abortion clinic, as well as the involvement of all four men in a racially-motivated home invasion in IN and multiple Wal-Mart robberies in IL.

The men allegedly traveled some 500 miles (805 kilometers) from a rural farming community in IL to carry out the August 5 attack, which caused a damaging fire at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. Hari was arrested as he was traveling to a court appearance in Ford County on unrelated assault charges.

Prosecutors filed an affidavit detailing evidence they have against Michael Hari, 47, Joe Morris, 22, Michael McWhorter, 29, all from Clarence in eastern Ford County. The three connected to the bombings and a fourth IL man were arrested on Tuesday morning and charged with possession of a machine gun.

Fellow suspect Hari also previously told the Chicago Tribune in April 2017 how he planned to build President Donald Trump's border wall with Mexico for around $10 billion. Morris also told the source that Hari said he would pay Morris and McWhorter $18,000 for their involvement.

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. He said they wanted to let Muslims know they are not welcome in the United States and "scare them out of the country", according notes taken by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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The complaint also said nothing about a possible motivation for the clinic attack. An affidavit says the men broke a window to the imam's office and threw a pipe bomb containing black powder into the mosque.

Hari allegedly told McWhorter's brother when he dropped off the guns, "The police will want to come talk to me; can I keep them here until I speak to them?" said the affidavit.

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

Minnesota is home to the biggest Somali community outside of east Africa with estimated 57,000 people residing in the Minneapolis area. There has been no news on whether the reward has been paid.

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. The video didn't show the blast itself.

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