Prosecutors said Michael Hari had helped bomb the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington in 2017 to try to terrorize Muslims and scare them into leaving the country.
Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minn., after the bomb attack in August 2017. Credit.Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via Associated Press
A militia group leader, Michael Hari, who wanted to drive Muslims out of the United States was convicted of bombing a Minnesota mosque in 2017.
His conviction came after two other defendants, Michael McWhorter and Joe Morris, had pleaded guilty in January 2019 to their roles in the bombing of the mosque, the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center, in Bloomington, Minnesota. No one was injured in the attack, but the imam’s office was damaged, and the bombing spread fear throughout the community.
Mr. Hari, Mr. McWhorter and Mr. Morris each face mandatory minimum sentences of 35 years in prison when they are sentenced at a later date, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Minnesota.
Prosecutors said Mr. Hari had started a militia group called the White Rabbits in the small town of Clarence, Ill., and had recruited Mr. McWhorter and Mr. Morris joined the group, which he outfitted with paramilitary equipment and assault rifles.
During Mr. Hari’s trial, a prosecutor read passages from the White Rabbit Handbook, (the name of their militia group), a manifesto for the group that contained anti-Muslim rhetoric and exhorted a return to “the good old days” .
Mr. McWhorter told federal agents that the bombing had been Mr. Hari’s (Militia Leader’s) idea and the goal was to scare Muslims out of the country and show them, they were not welcome in America.
Erica H. MacDonald, the U.S. attorney for the District of Minnesota, said the Militia Leader “Michael Hari’s goal in bombing the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center was to spread hatred, instill fear, and threaten the constitutionally protected right to freedom of religion. This act of violence, driven by hatred and ignorance, shook our community.”
However, it is important for law enforcement agencies to continue to dedicate resources and time to monitoring and disrupting white supremacist organizations that are planning violence, as the Muslim community continues to fear the possibility of these attacks.