The Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington was bombed last August just before morning prayers, fortunately the attack— touted as a “criminal act of terrorism” by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton— left no casualties but resulted in a fire and extensive damage to the mosque.
According to reports, one of the offenders, Michael B. Hari, drafted a $10 billion plan to build Trump’s “Mexico wall” after starting up a security company, Crisis Resolution Security Services.
"We would look at the wall as not just a physical barrier to immigration but also as a symbol of the American determination to defend our culture, our language, our heritage, from any outsiders,” said Hari in an interview last year.
Hari’s accomplices in the terror act have been identified as Joe Morris and Michael McWhorter. All three hail from Clarence, a small rural community and it is still unclear why they targeted the specific Minnesota mosque more than 500 miles from where they reside.
The authorities were alerted through a tip in December that led to the investigation of the three convicts. The tip contained photos of guns and bomb making material in Hari’s parent’s house where he usually stayed.
In January, another informant stated that these men were responsible for the Minnesota mosque and attempted abortion clinic bombings.
FBI notes showed that the motive behind this attack was to let Muslims know that they are not welcome in the United States and “to scare them away.”
An affidavit said the criminals broke a window in the Imam’s office and threw a pipe bomb which exploded, causing a fire. The fire was extinguished by the sprinklers. McWhorter reportedly told the authorities that Hari had promised his accomplices money for taking part in the bombing.
Minneapolis FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Robert Bone believes the Muslim community is no longer under any threat from this specific incident.
McWhorter allegedly also conceded the men’s participation in an attack on an abortion clinic by throwing a similar pipe bomb through a window where it failed to go off, preventing any damage.
This incident is another addition to the growing list of hate crimes and troubles for immigrants since President Donald Trump took office.
Minnesota is home to the biggest Somali community outside of east Africa with estimated 57,000 people residing in the Minneapolis area.
Mohamed Omar, executive director of the Muslim center serving Somalis, stated that at the time of the incident, “the mosque didn’t receive any threats beforehand or claims of responsibility afterward.” However, the FBI had offered $30,000 as reward for any information leading to the conviction of the bombing. There has been no news on whether the reward has been paid.
Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: Reuters