News Local/State

Three Men Accused Of Mosque Bombing To Face Illinois Machine Gun Charge First

In this July 2017 booking photo released by Ford County Sheriff's Office, Michael Hari is seen on an assault charge.

Michael Hari, photographed by law enforcement on a 2017 assault charge. Hari and two others are accused of the bombing of a mosque in Minnesota; the three and a 4th person have been arraigned on a machine gun possession charge. Ford County Sheriff's Office via The News-Gazette, via AP

Three Ford County men accused of bombing a Minnesota mosque last summer are expected to remain in Illinois for the time being to face charges in a related case.

In March, federal prosecutors charged 47-year-old Michael Hari, 29-year-old Michael McWhorter, and 22-year-old Joe Morris in the pipe bombing of the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota. The early morning attack on August 5th heavily damaged the building, but no one was injured.

The suspects, who are the small town of Clarence in Ford County, are also facing federal machine gun charges related to the attempted bombing of a clinic in Champaign that performs abortions.

The three men, plus a fourth, 18-year-old Ellis Mack, were arraigned in federal court in Urbana last week. A federal judge ordered the men to remain in Illinois until that case is resolved.

And this week, both prosecutors and defense attorneys -- noting the complexity of the cases -- asked a federal judge in Minnesota for a 60-day extension to bring the mosque bombing case before a grand jury here.