Minnesota mosque bombing convict asks judge to acknowledge transgender identity
The individual convicted of charges relating to the bombing of a mosque in Minnesota wants the judge in the case to legally acknowledge her transgender identity.
Emily Claire Hari, who previously went by Michael Hari, was found guilty last year of civil rights and hate crimes charges related to the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center bombing in 2017.
Hari, 50, says she was influenced by gender dysphoria and right-wing misinformation at the time of the bombing in Bloomington, the Star Tribune reported on Tuesday.
“She strongly desired making a full transition but knew she would be ostracized from everyone and everything she knew,” Shannon Elkins, Hari’s attorney, said in court documents.
“Thus, as she formed a ragtag group of freedom fighters or militia men and spoke of missions to Cuba and Venezuela, Ms. Hari secretly looked up ‘sex change,’ ‘transgender surgery,’ and ‘post-op transgender’ on the Internet. As she purchased military fatigues for their ‘missions’ she also purchased dresses and female clothing for a planned trip to Bangkok, Thailand, for male-to-female surgery. She was living a double life,” Elkins added.
Elkins wants the judge to consider Hari’s struggle with gender identity and misinformation before handing down a sentence, which Elkins argued should be no more than the minimum of 30 years.
No one was injured in the bombing, though the mosque was damaged.
“The property damage was collateral to [Hari’s] real purpose,” prosecutors said in court documents, according to the Star Tribune. “This bomb — the defendant’s bomb — was an act of terror intended to destroy the heart of a community.”
Prosecutors want Hari to receive a life sentence.
“She is not a ‘White Nationalist,’ a ‘Neo Nazi,’ a ‘Skinhead,’ a ‘Boogaloo Boi,’ nor part of the ‘Arian [sic] Brotherhood,’” Elkins said, describing Hari as a misunderstood “pacifist.”
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