Ford County Men Plead Guilty To Mosque Bombing | WGLT

Ford County Men Plead Guilty To Mosque Bombing

Jan 24, 2019

Two Ford County men have pleaded guilty to their roles in bombing an Islamic mosque in Minnesota and trying to bomb an abortion clinic in Champaign.

Michael McWhorter, 29 and Joe Morris, 23, both of Clarence, Ill., issued guilty pleas on Thursday in U.S. District Court in St. Paul, Minn.

A third defendant, 47-year-old Michael Hari of Clarence, remains jailed as he faces federal hate crime charges. The men were believed to be part of a militia group.

Prosecutors say the men firebombed the Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center in August 2017, claiming they wanted to scare Muslims out of the country. No one was injured in the explosion.

“The defendants engaged in a violent multi-state crime spree that terrorized communities, including members of the Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center in Minnesota. The defendants’ criminal acts are reprehensible and antithetical to our values as a nation,” said U.S. Attorney Erica H. MacDonald.

Prosecutors said the three men also placed a bomb in a women’s health clinic in Champaign in November 2017, but it did not ignite.  

WGLT depends on financial support from users to bring you stories and interviews like this one. As someone who values experienced, knowledgeable, and award-winning journalists covering meaningful stories in Central Illinois, please consider making a contribution.