Three arrested, charged in U.S. mosque bombing

Nellie Chapman
March 14, 2018

"Hari was the driver, Morris was responsible for smashing the window in, and McWhorter was responsible for throwing the bomb in the window", the affidavit states.

Each of the men has been charged with arson in connection with the mosque bombing. The suspect told investigators he and the others did not intend to kill anyone in the mosque but wanted "to scare them (Muslims) out of the country".

Four fully automatic weapons that met the federal definition for a machine gun were found by police at the home of McWhorter's brother, who told officers Hari and Morris had brought the weapons to his home several days earlier. No one was injured, but the explosion caused extensive damage to the Imam's office.

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

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.

Federal authorities say the men were arrested Tuesday in IL on separate gun charges and that they were suspects in the mosque bombing. There they found a pipe bomb attached to a propane tank, according to the affidavit. The truck then sped away, the affidavit said. "A search warrant was also executed at a store/office owned by Hari, located at 100 S. Main Road in Clarence (Illinois.)" Even as officials in Illinois sorted through charges against the quartet, federal authorities in Bloomington, Minnesota, were announcing the mosque-related developments late Tuesday afternoon.

The incident was similar to the attempted bomb attack at an abortion clinic three months later. 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.

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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.

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

The mosque primarily serves Somalis in the Minneapolis area. Minnesota is home to an estimated 57,000 Somalis, the largest Somali population outside of east Africa, according to the MN State Demographic Center.

The FBI is leading the investigation into the bombing. Mosque leaders later released security video from inside the mosque that caught the moments before the explosion, and some smoke and flying debris.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) called the attack "an act of terrorism" shortly after it was carried out.

"That bombing that took place last summer was a tragedy for all Minnesotans", said U.S. Attorney Gregory Brooker said, adding that it remains a top priority for law enforcement.

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