Ford Co. men indicted in mosque bombing

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (WAND)- A grand jury indicted three Ford county men with the 2017 bombing of a Minnesota mosque, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.

Prosecutors say Michael Hari, 47, Michael McWhorter, 29, and Joe Morris, 23, conspired to bomb the DAF Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota. The center is both a religious center and a religious school for children.

According to the complaint against them, Morris used a sledge hammer to break a window at the center and threw a plastic container containing diesel and gasoline into the building. McWhorter then lit the fuse of a pipe bomb and threw it through the broken window, according to investigators who say Hari built the pipe bomb. When the pipe bomb exploded, it ignited the gasoline and diesel in the container, causing extensive fire and smoke damage the office of an Imam.

Investigators say McWhorter and Morris then returned to a rented pickup truck, where Hari was waiting; the three drove back to Illinois.

McWhorter later said the three did not intend to kill anyone but wanted to “scare (Muslims) out of the country” and “show them … ‘you’re not welcome here, get the (expletive) out.'”

The three men face federal civil rights and hate crime violations and charges of using a destructive device.

WAND will update this story with additional information from court documents.