News Local/State

Hate Crimes, Civil Rights Violations Added to Arson Charges Against Ford Co. Men For Mosque Bombing

Michael Hari

Michael Hari, one of the three defendants charged in connection with the bombing of a mosque last year in Bloomington, Minnesota. Ford County Sheriff's Department

A federal grand jury in Minnesota has indicted three Ford County men on civil rights and hate crimes violations, related to the bombing last summer of a mosque in suburban Minneapolis. The indictment follows up on a criminal complaint of arson filed in March.

47-year-old Michael Hari, 29-year-old Michael McWhorter and 23-year-old Joe Morris—all of Clarence—are accused in connection with the early morning bombing of the Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota last August 5.

No one was hurt in in the early morning explosion, which involved a container of gasoline and diesel fuel, ignited by a pipe bomb. Prosecutors allege that McWhorter said they wanted to show Muslims that they were not welcome in the U.S.

Hari (a former Ford County sheriff's deputy), McWhorter and Morris, and a 4th man, 18-year-old Ellis Mack of Clarence, are currently jailed in Urbana on unrelated charges.

Those include robbery and extortion to raise money for their militia group, the White Rabbits, and the attempted bombing last November of Women's Health Practice, a Champaign clinic where abortions are performed.