Hoping to scare Muslims into leaving the U.S., members of an Illinois militia group rented a truck and drove more than 500 miles to bomb a Minnesota mosque, two men admitted Thursday.
Michael McWhorter and Joe Morris said that when they arrived Aug. 5, 2017, at the Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, they broke a window and threw a lit pipe bomb and a gasoline mixture inside, causing an explosion, fire and extensive damage.
No one was injured in the attack, which happened just as morning prayers were about to begin, shaking members of the local Muslim community.
McWhorter, 29, and Morris, 23, of Clarence, Illinois, each pleaded guilty Thursday to five counts in connection with the mosque attack, the attempted bombing of an Illinois abortion clinic, armed robberies and other crimes.
A third defendant, 47-year-old Michael Hari, whom prosecutors said directed the bombing, remains in federal custody in Illinois.
The plea agreements portray Hari as the ringleader of a militia group called the White Rabbits, which included Hari, McWhorter, Morris and at least five other people. Hari’s trial is set for July.
The guilty pleas of McWhorter and Morris came a day before three members of another militia were set to be sentenced for a foiled plot to massacre Muslims in southwest Kansas by blowing up a mosque and apartments housing Somali immigrants.
Source: Daily Chronicle