The mosque's executive director, Mohamed Omar, said the vehicle immediately sped away. The men arrested and charged are: Michael B. Hari, 47; Joe Morris, 22; Michael McWhorter, 29; and, Ellis Mack, 18, all of Clarence, a rural community approximately 35 miles north of Champaign-Urbana, according to information from the Department of Justice, United States Attorney John E. Childress, Central District of IL.
Police in Bloomington were called in the early morning of August 5 about an explosion at the mosque, after a bomb was thrown from a van or truck through the window of the imam's office while worshippers were gathered for morning prayers, and the vehicle was seen speeding away.
In a written statement, the USA attorney's office in Springfield said the men - identified as Michael B. Hari, 47, Joe Morris, 22, and Michael McWhorter, 29 - also face charges of possession of assault rifles, which are classified as machine guns, and attempting to bomb an IL abortion clinic in November.
Federal prosecutors say authorities have linked three Ford County men to a bombing last summer at a Minnesota mosque. In January, a second informant told authorities that the three men had carried out the mosque bombing and the failed clinic bombing, according to the complaint.
A tipster sent Ford County Sheriff's Office photos of gun and bomb-making materials in a home where Hari frequented..
"We would look at the wall as not just a physical barrier to immigration but also as a symbol of the American determination to defend our culture, our language, our heritage, from any outsiders", said Hari in an interview a year ago. "A search warrant was also executed at a store/office owned by Hari, located at 100 S. Main Road in Clarence (Illinois.)" Even as officials in Illinois sorted through charges against the quartet, federal authorities in Bloomington, Minnesota, were announcing the mosque-related developments late Tuesday afternoon. According to the affidavit, law enforcement agents have gathered evidence to indicate that Hari, McWhorter and Morris were responsible for the Bloomington bombing and the attempted bombing of the Women's Health Practice, an abortion clinic, in Champaign on November 7.
Later Tuesday, the executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said that there were still many questions that need answering.
Hari's accomplice, McWhorter, allegedly told an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent that the three drove about 500 miles to Minnesota to carry out their explosive plot in an attempt to scare Muslims "out of the country".
The Islamic Center primarily serves Somalis in the Minneapolis area and houses a mosque and religious school for children. There has been no news on whether the reward has been paid. The video didn't show the blast itself.