Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Federal charges filed in Islamic center bombing

Federal charges filed in Islamic center bombing

According to the affidavit, the four men were in possession of assault rifles from October 2017 to March 2018.

The three men are suspected of using an improvised explosive device to attack Bloomington's Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in August previous year. That's where an IED exploded while five people were in the building. No one was injured in the blast.

"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 Federal Bureau of Investigation; Springfield Division; FBI Minneapolis Division; University of Illinois Police Department; Ford County Sheriff's Office; Champaign Police Department; Illinois State Police; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are continuing the investigation.

Each of the men has been charged with arson in connection with the mosque bombing. Charges state Hari sometimes resides with his parents because his home has no electricity or running water.

Morris told one informant that Hari had promised to pay him and McWhorter $18,000 for participating in the mosque bombing, according to the complaint.

A second informant came forward and proved information on Hari, McWhorter and Morris, saying they responsible for the bombing in Bloomington, Minnesota. One of the arrestees, Michael McWhorter, told authorities that the men had been involved in other violent crimes in central IL and Indiana.

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

Executive director Jaylani Hussein of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations says the arrests are "definitely a relief". The attack caused no injuries but caused damage to the mosque.

Asad Zaman, executive director of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, called on Minnesotans to call out anti-Muslim sentiments within the community.

Authorities say they also found four assault riles, three of which turned out to be fully automatic.

The FBI is not commenting on any possible local ties to Minnesota, but leaders at Dar-Al Farooq hope a larger message remains.

At the news conference, Chief Potts said that the authorities hoped the arrests would represent "a significant portion of the healing process for Dar Al Farooq".

The statement said the three men are suspects in the August 5, 2017, explosion at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota, and an attempted bombing of the Women's Health Practice in Champaign on November 7.

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