Accused Bloomington mosque bombers wanted Muslims to leave country

The Dar Al Farooq Center was targeted with a pipe bomb in August.

The three Illinois men accused of throwing a pipe bomb through the window of a Bloomington mosque did so in the hope of forcing Muslims to flee the country.

That's according to a criminal complaint and sworn affidavits issued against Michael McWhorter, 29, Joe Morris, 22, and Michael Hari, 47, on Wednesday.

The affidavit reveals it was supposedly Hari's idea to target the Dar Al Farooq mosque in Bloomington, Minnesota. He also made the bomb and was the getaway driver.

Morris is alleged to have smashed the windows of the building, with McWhorter then allegedly throwing a PVC pipe bomb into the building.

Their intent wasn't to kill, they said, with McWhorter telling an FBI officer they wanted to scare Muslims out of the country "because they push their beliefs on everyone else."

Morris meanwhile told officers that Hari had offered to pay him and McWhorter $18,000 for taking part in the mosque bombing.

They rented a pickup from their home town of Champaign, Illinois, driving around 500 miles to carry out the attack.

They were caught after law enforcement received information from a confidential source in late January, indicating they were responsible for the bombing.

They have been charged with using an explosive device to maliciously destroy and damage the Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center, though more charges could follow.

They have also been linked with an attempted bombing of a women's clinic in their home town.

Muslim leaders call for help fighting Islamaphobia

The latest release from federal authorities comes after leaders of the Dar Al Farooq center questioned why their mosque was possibly targeted by the men from Illinois.


– Three arrested in Illinois connected to Bloomington mosque attack

Muslim leaders gave a press conference in which Dar Al Farooq executive director Mohammed Omar questioned how these Illinois were allegedly motivated to target a mosque hundreds of miles away in Minnesota.

"We don't know what we did to them, we don't know these individuals, why did they target us?" he said. "That's the question we still want answered from ... the people doing this investigation."

Jaylani Hussein, the executive director for the Council of Islamic Relations Minnesota (CAIR-MN), expressed concern that the trio were encouraged to target the Dar Al Farooq Center by someone in Minnesota who "put a target on this mosque."

He and Omar called for "good people" not to be silent when confronted with Islamaphobia, saying the proliferation of anti-Muslim sentiment on social media is providing motivation for people to act in a violent manner.

Imam Asad Zamam called out President Donald Trump for not condemning the bombing at the time, which follows one of his advisers, Sebastian Gorka, suggesting on national TV that it may be a hoax propagated by the left.

Gov. Mark Dayton, at the time, described it as a "criminal act of terrorism."

“President Trump, when asked about this bombing, questioned whether or not it was fake news. I call on President Trump to unequivocally to condemn this act of terror,” Zamam said.

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