Accused bomber pursues lawsuit behind bars


KANKAKEE, Ill. (WAND) - One of the central Illinois men accused of bombing a Minnesota mosque is continuing to pursue a lawsuit against federal officials from behind bars.

Federal authorities arrested Michael Hari of Clarence last month, along with three other local men. The federal complaint suggests Hari paid the other men to bomb the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center in Minnesota. It also suggests he and the other men attempted to bomb the Women’s Health Practice in Champaign, burglarized a home in Indiana and robbed stores in Illinois.

In February, Hari filed a federal lawsuit against U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Michael Azar II. In the suit, Hari argues that the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service “has engaged in the business of offering food safety audits to produce farmers in competition with private enterprise, including (Hari’s) business, Equicert.”

The suit also argues that the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act puts an unfair burden on produce farmers since farmers cannot tell when pathogenic microbes are present and “no set of farm practices can eliminate all instances of these … microbes.”

Before his arrest, Hari asked the judge handling his lawsuit to allow him to proceed without paying court fees in the case. The judge denied the request, finding that Hari’s reported $24,000 income was enough to allow him to pay the fee.

In a hand-written letter sent from the Kankakee County Jail where he was being held, Hari asked the judge to reconsider waiving the fees since “(Hari’s) circumstances, financial and otherwise, radically changed when he was arrested by the FBI” and that “this has dramatically reduced the plaintiff’s income and future prospects of income.” The letter was entered into the court’s record Thursday.

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