US Attorney Announces New Indictments Against 3 Illinois Men in Bloomington Mosque Bombing

June 21, 2018 08:00 PM

The video above originally aired in March of this year.


The U.S. Attorney's Office in Minnesota has announced indictments against three Illinois men in connection to the bombing of a Bloomington mosque in August 2017.

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Michael Hari, 47, Michael McWhorter, 29, and Joe Morris, 23, were previously named in a criminal complaint filed in March charging them with arson.

RELATED: 3 Illinois Men Charged in Bombing of Bloomington Mosque

All are from Clarence, a rural community 35 miles north of Champaign-Urbana.

A release Thursday said the three, who are all being held on separate charges in Urbana, Illinois, have now been charged with one count each of intentionally defacing, damaging and destroying any religious real property because of the religious character of that property, intentionally obstructing, and attempting to obstruct, by force and the threat of force, the free exercise of religious beliefs, conspiracy to commit federal felonies by means of fire and explosives and carrying and using a destructive device during and in relation to crimes of violence.

RELATED: Muslim Leaders Speak About Bloomington Mosque Bombing Arrests

Hari is also charged with possession of an unregistered destructive device.

According to the release, the indictment and a previously filed criminal complaint allege Morris used a sledgehammer to break a window at the Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center on Aug. 5 of last year. And that he threw a plastic container containing a diesel fuel and gasoline mixture into the building.

RELATED: CAIR Reports Spike in Hate Messages After Bloomington Mosque Bombing

McWhorter allegedly then lit the fuse on a pipe bomb Hari had reportedly built and threw the pipe bomb through the broken window.

Shortly after the attack, the FBI offered a $30,000 reward for information on the bombing. Muslim advocacy groups and Twin Cities' mosques were also offering a $24,000 reward.

The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said it welcomed the new charges.

"We welcome the new federal charges brought forth in this domestic terrorism case. These charges send a strong signal that these types of acts will not go unpunished," said CAIR-MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein in a statement.

"With a rise in domestic terrorism cases, we need congress to enact laws that are more appropriate for these types of heinous crimes."

WATCH: First Look Inside Bloomington Mosque Hit by IED, Public Officials Tour Damage

Credits

Frank Rajkowski

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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