Prosecutor: Bombing suspect melted railroad tracks in Effingham

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(Provided Photo/FBI) (Provided Photo/FBI)
Ellis Mack, 18 Ellis Mack, 18

URBANA, Ill. (WAND) - One of three suspects arrested for their role in an attempted bombing in Champaign and a bombing in Bloomington, Minnesota appeared in court on Wednesday. 

According to the federal prosecutor,  Michael McWhorter melted railroad tracks in Effingham, which could have caused serious injuries. 

Officials say they arrested, Michael B. Hari, 47, Joe Morris, 22, Michael McWhorter, 29, and, Ellis Mack, 18, all of Clarence, Ill. That's just 35 miles north of Champaign-Urbana. 

Prosecutors say McWhorter threw a pipe bomb into a mosque in Blooming, Minneapolis on Aug. 5. Hari, McWhorter and Morris all face charges for the bombing at the Dar Al Faroog Islamic Center. Five people were inside at the time, but no one was injured. 

McWhorter admitted the involvement of the three men in the mosque bombing and the attempted bombing of the abortion clinic, as well as the involvement of all four men in a racially-motivated home invasion in Indiana and multiple Wal-Mart robberies in Illinois. 

McWhorter claimed the group had conducted three Wal-Mart robberies in Illinois.

Hari is a former Ford County, IL sheriff’s deputy who ran an unsuccessful campaign for sheriff of the same county on the Libertarian ticket in 1998. In 2006, he was found guilty of abducting his two daughters in a case that was featured on The Dr. Phil Show, and was sentenced to probation.

Included in this story is a mugshot of Ellis Mack. WAND is in the process of obtaining mug shots for the other three men, a process which is more difficult in federal cases.

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