URBANA, Ill. (WAND) - A judge has ruled suspected domestic terrorist Michael Hari will face two trials for crimes he's accused of committing.
Hari is considered a suspect in the alleged firebombing of the Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center on Aug. 5, 2017 in Bloomington, Minn., and faces attempted arson charges in that case. He's accused of forming the "White Rabbits" - a militia group - and working with them to rob Walmart stores and drug dealers in Illinois and Indiana, damage Illinois railroad tracks and try to bomb a Champaign women's health clinic.
Several members of that "White Rabbits" group were accused of traveling with Hari to Minnesota before the mosque attack.
Hari wanted his charges, which The News-Gazette reports include weapons and criminal conspiracy charges to go along with attempted arson, consolidated and heard in Minnesota. U.S. District Court Judge Michael Mihm denied that motion, which Hari's lawyer filed on Jan. 23.
Hari had only recently asked his defense team to file for consolidation, his lawyer said in court when pressed by the judge about why the motion was filed in late January - a date close to the start of the Minnesota trial.
The lawyer representing Hari argued combining Central District charges with the Minnesota case was in the interest of judicial economy, as the government filed an intention to bring evidence related to alleged crimes from Illinois and Indiana into the Minnesota trial. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugene Miller argued against the idea, saying prosecutors in Minnesota might not show all of the same evidence he plans to.
Hari's trial in Minneapolis for attempted arson begins Feb. 18. He will then be tried for alleged crimes connected to "White Rabbits" accusations on March 30 in Urbana.
Authorities took Hari into custody in March 2018. He has been behind bars since.