Accused Mosque Bombers Now Face Hate Crime Charges
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A grand jury has added civil rights and hate crimes violations to charges three Illinois men face in the bombing of a mosque in the Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington.
Federal prosecutors announced the new five-count indictment Thursday against 47-year-old Michael Hari, 29-year-old Michael McWhorter and 23-year-old Joe Morris. They were previously charged with arson in Minnesota. They're being held in Illinois on separate charges.
They're accused of traveling from Clarence, Illinois, to carry out the Aug. 5 pipe-bombing at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center. The explosion damaged an office just as morning prayers were about to begin, but nobody was hurt.
The indictment alleges they conspired to bomb the mosque to make Muslims feel frightened and intimidated, thus interfering with their religious freedom.