By Kristine Phillips
Three men — including the owner of a company that submitted a bid to build President Trump’s border wall — bombed a Minnesota mosque in an attempt to drive Muslims out of the United States, according to a federal complaint.
The three men from rural Illinois were arrested and charged Tuesday after one of them said that they were responsible for bombing the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in a Minneapolis suburb last summer.
Michael McWhorter told federal agents that the trio did not intend to kill anyone but wanted to “scare” Muslims “out of the country” and to “show them hey, you’re not welcome here, get the f— out,” according to the complaint filed Tuesday.
The bombing on Aug. 5, 2017, did not result in injuries or deaths. Still, it amplified fears throughout Muslim communities in Minnesota, where many Somali migrants have settled. A Pew Research Center survey released in July 2017 found that 75 percent of American Muslims felt there was “a lot” of discrimination against Muslims in the United States.
Muslim leaders criticized Trump for not condemning the bombing, prompting Sebastian Gorka, at the time a White House national security adviser, to defend the president’s silence.
“There’s a great rule: All initial reports are false,” Gorka said in August, citing a number of “alleged hate crimes … that turned out to actually have been propagated by the left.”
The federal complaint, however, makes clear that wasn’t the case with the predawn bombing of the mosque in Bloomington, Minn.
McWhorter, 29, told investigators last week that he and the others each had specific roles in the bombing.
McWhorter said Michael Hari, 47, was the bombmaker and driver, and Joe Morris, 22, was responsible for breaking one of the center’s windows., he said.
And McWhorter said he himself threw a homemade PVC pipe bomb into the building. According to the court documents, McWhorter described the explosive as a “huge a– black powder bomb.”
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