Published: Thu, March 15, 2018
Science | By Eileen Rhodes

Three arrested, charged in USA mosque bombing

Three arrested, charged in USA mosque bombing

"We are concerned today that we believe 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 decide to attack a mosque in Minnesota", Hussein said.

Michael McWhorter, 29, all of Clarence, face one count each of arson in federal court, said U.S. Attorney for Minnesota Gregory G. Brooker.

Last August, the Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota was bombed while Muslims gathered inside for morning prayers.

The three men, plus a fourth who was arrested on the gun charge, are from Clarence, a small unincorporated town in eastern Ford County.

They and Ellis Mack, 18, also of Clarence, face a federal charge of possession of a machine gun, according to John E. Childress, U.S. attorney for the central district of IL.

Authorities say they have arrested three me from rural central IL on gun charges who they believe are suspects in the bombing of a Minnesota mosque and an attempted bombing of an IL abortion clinic.

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. Morris also told the source that Hari said he would pay Morris and McWhorter $18,000 for their involvement.

Authorities launched an investigation against the three men after a person sent the local police force photos of guns and bomb-making material inside Hari's parents' home, where he often stayed as his own home had no running water or electricity.

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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.

The incident was similar to the attempted bomb attack at an abortion clinic three months later. The pipe bomb, constructed of polyvinyl chloride, known as "PVC", exploded, causing extensive damage. The truck then sped away, the affidavit said.

Later Tuesday, the executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said that there were still many questions that need answering.

Anti-Muslim incidents rose sharply in the United States in the year after the 2016 USA presidential election, according to a review by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Hussein tells The Associated Press that Muslims are glad that the suspects are "no longer a threat to our community".

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

The Islamic center in Bloomington houses not only a mosque, but also a religious school for children. The video didn't show the blast itself.

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