An Illinois trio bombed a mosque and a women’s health clinic, according a federal indictment filed last week. Then they tried to set up rural militia, sell their neighbors a phony local currency, and ransom a stretch of railroad tracks.
Michael Hari, Joe Morris, and Michael McWhorter of Clarence, Illinois were arrested in March on charges related to the bombing a Minnesota mosque in August 2017. The trio is also accused of a failed bombing at a Champaign, Illinois women’s health clinic three months later. A pair of cases, including an indictment returned against the group in Minnesota last week, describe the trio as a wannabe terror cell that carried out bombings and robberies under the banner of their right-wing militia, the White Rabbits.
The Dar al Farooq Islamic Center was almost empty on August 5, 2017 when Hari, Morris, and McWhorter allegedly pulled up outside with what McWhorter later described to an FBI agent as a "huge-ass black powder bomb.” Hari, the group’s alleged ringleader, had assembled the bomb during a stop at a gas station on the inter-state drive to the mosque, according to the indictment filed in Minnesota last week. The group allegedly broke the mosque window with a sledgehammer and tossed the bomb inside, where it exploded with no injuries. They pleaded not guilty to a firearms charge relating to the incident, but do not appear to have entered pleas in response to last week’s indictment over the actual bombing.
McWhorter told the FBI agent that Hari had orchestrated the bombing to “show [Muslims] hey, you’re not welcome here, get the fuck out,” according to the agent’s affidavit in the case.
The bombing was one of the militia’s first in a series of crimes, according to an indictment filed against them in Illinois last month. In August, around the time of the mosque bombing, the trio decided to form a then-unnamed militia, the indictment alleges.
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