Illinois resident sentenced to 53 years in prison for Minnesota mosque bombing


ST. PAUL, MINN. (WTVO) – An Illinois native was sentenced to 53 years in prison for the 2017 bombing of a Minnesota mosque. Authorities say the person was the mastermind of the attack.

Emily Claire Hari, 50, once known as Michael Hari, who recently came out as transgender, was sentenced in relation to the attack on Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minn, according to the Chicago Tribune. Hari was convicted back in December on multiple counts, including obstructing the free exercise of religious beliefs and damaging property because of it’s religious character. The sentencing comes at the end of a seven month search that brought investigators to Clarence, Illinois, where Hari and her two colleagues, Michael McWhorter and Joe Morris, were found.

A pipe bomb was thrown through the window of an imam’s at the mosque on Aug. 5, 2017. Though no one was hurt in the attack, several men were in the mosque praying at the time of the attack.

While Hari’s attorneys fought for the minimum sentence of 30 years, prosecutors, as well as members of the mosque, fought for a life sentence. Some of the members reportedly said they felt unsafe praying in the mosque after the attack, and described their terror and shock in the aftermath of the attack.

According to authorities, Hari led a group called the White Rabbits, an Illinois anti-government militia group. Prosecutors noted several excerpts from Hari’s manifesto, The White Rabbit Handbook, that cited hate for Muslims.

McWhorter and Morris, members of the White Rabbits who assisted in the attack, both testified against Hari and pled guilty to five counts. They are awaiting sentencing. The three individuals were previously charged for a failed abortion clinic attack in Champaign, Illinois that happened in November 2017.

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