Federal authorities on Tuesday charged three men from rural central Illinois with the bombing of a Minnesota mosque last year and said one of the suspects told an investigator the goal of the attack was to “scare” Muslims out of the United States.
A statement from the U.S. attorney’s office in Springfield, Illinois, says the men also are suspected in the attempted bombing of an abortion clinic. The Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota, was bombed just before morning prayers on Aug. 5, causing a fire and extensive damage although no one was injured or killed. And there was an attempted bombing of the Champaign, Illinois, Women’s Health Practice on Nov. 7.
One of the men, Michael B. Hari, 47, described in an April 2017 Chicago Tribune articlehow he drafted a $10 billion plan to build a wall along the border with Mexico, citing President Donald Trump’s call for such a wall. Hari drew up the proposal after launching a security company, Crisis Resolution Security Services, the newspaper said.
Hari also filed a federal lawsuit just last month in central Illinois, naming the U.S. secretaries of agriculture and health and human services as defendants. It accuses their departments of violating his constitutional rights by doing the food-safety certification work that his firm, Equicert, does.
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. He requested a court order barring federal officials from interfering with his business.
The other two men charged in the mosque bombing with Hari were identified as Joe Morris, 22, and Michael McWhorter, 29. All three are from Clarence, a rural community of less than 100 residents some 35 miles north of Champaign-Urbana. A fourth man was charged with a gun offense, but he was not identified as a suspect in the bombing or attempted bombing.
A complaint said a tip in December led authorities to investigate the three men, after a person sent the local sheriff photos of guns and bomb-making material inside Hari’s parents’ home, where Hari often stayed. In January, a second informant told authorities that the three men had carried out the mosque bombing and the failed clinic bombing, according to the complaint.
McWhorter allegedly told an FBI agent during an interview that the three rented a pickup in Champaign and drove more than 500 miles to Minnesota with a plan to bomb the mosque, according to a criminal 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 FBI.
See More- Source: Chicago Tribune