Federal prosecutors say authorities have linked three Ford County men to a bombing last summer at a Minnesota mosque.
U.S. federal authorities on Tuesday charged three men from rural central IL with the bombing of a Minnesota mosque past year and said one of the suspects told an investigator the goal of the attack was to "scare" Muslims out of the United States.
Michael McWhorter, 29, all of Clarence, face one count each of arson in federal court, said U.S. Attorney for Minnesota Gregory G. Brooker.
The affidavit filed in support of the District of Minnesota criminal complaint alleges that on August 5, a pipe bomb was thrown through a window of the Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center. Hari was arrested as he was traveling to a court appearance in Ford County on unrelated assault charges.
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.
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Prosecutors filed the document as they charged the trio and a fourth Clarence man, Ellis Mack, 18, 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 told one informant that Hari had promised to pay him and McWhorter $18,000 for participating in the mosque bombing, according to the complaint. The tip contained photos of guns and bomb making material in Hari's parent's house where he usually stayed.
An affidavit said the criminals broke a window in the Imam's office and threw a pipe bomb which exploded, causing a fire.
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.
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McWhorter allegedly also conceded the men's participation in an attack on an abortion clinic by throwing a similar pipe bomb through a window where it failed to go off, preventing any damage.
He also said it was Hari's idea to target a mosque, with the intention to "scare them out of the country".
Mohamed Omar, executive director of the Muslim center serving Somalis, stated that at the time of the incident, "the mosque didn't receive any threats beforehand or claims of responsibility afterward".
Executive director Jaylani Hussein of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations says the arrests are "definitely a relief". However, the Federal Bureau of Investigation had offered $30,000 as reward for any information leading to the conviction of the bombing.
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