News Local/State

Ford County Men Suspects In Two Bombings

The FBI office in Springfield, IL.

The FBI office in Springfield, IL. Provided by FBI

Three Ford County men have been charged with arson in the bombing last year of a mosque in suburban Minneapolis.

The US Attorney’s office in Springfield said the men were arrested Tuesday on separate gun charges, and were suspects in the mosque bombing. But federal authorities in Minnesota charged them with additional counts of arson for their alleged role in the August 5th explosion at the mosque.

Prosecutors say Michael B. Hari, Joe Morris, and Michael McWhorter threw a pipe bomb through the window of the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota, causing extensive damage, but no injuries.

The three men — plus a fourth who was arrested on the gun charge — are from Clarence, a small unincorporated town in eastern Ford County.

Authorities in Springfield say Hari, Morris and McWhorter are also suspects in the attempted bombing last November of the Women’s Health Practice, a clinic that performs abortions in Champaign.

18-year-old Ellis "E.J." Mack was also arrested on charges of possession of a machine gun, but has not been charged in the mosque bombing.

The Chicago Tribune reported last April that Hari was bidding to build President Donald Trump's proposed border wall after starting his own security firm.