March 13, 2018 10:16 PM
Leaders of the Minnesota Muslim community said Tuesday they were pleased to hear of the arrests made in connection to last August's Bloomington mosque bombing, but still had concerns and questions surrounding the incident.
A Tuesday statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Springfield announced the arrests of four men on charges of possession of a machine gun. The statement adds that three of the men are suspects in the Aug. 5 explosion at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota, and the Women's Health Practice in Champaign, Illinois, on Nov. 7.
It identifies them as Michael B. Hari, 47, Joe Morris, 22, and Michael McWhorter, 29. All are from Clarence, a rural community 35 miles north of Champaign-Urbana.
During a press conference Tuesday, Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, thanked law enforcement for their swift action in arresting the three suspects.
"It's not every day in the United States that a mosque is bombed or a plot to kill Muslims is foiled," he said. "But unfortunately, this is the reality of this current environment."
Since the suspects were not from Minnesota, Hussein raised concerns whether someone within Minnesota pointed them to the mosque.
"It is possible that one of our neighbors of our communities may have put the target on this mosque, forcing individuals who live in Illinois to attack a mosque in Minnesota," he said.
On Tuesday, authorities did not address whether anyone from Minnesota was involved in the incident
Asad Zaman, executive director of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, called on Minnesotans to call out anti-Muslim sentiments within the community.
"Words have power," he said. "We should not allow a culture of hatred to be fostered in our beautiful state. We need to call it out as it occurs, when it occurs."
Updated: March 13, 2018 10:16 PM
Created: March 13, 2018 07:55 PM
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