Militia leader sentenced to 53 years in Minnesota mosque bombing

A militia leader was sentenced to 53 years in prison on Monday after being convicted on federal charges for a Minnesota mosque bombing in 2017.

Emily Claire Hari, formerly known as Michael Hari, was sentenced in a Minnesota federal court on Monday for the bombing of Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minn., the Justice Department said in a statement.

W. Anders Folk, acting U.S. attorney for the District of Minnesota, said in a statement that he hopes the sentence will help members of Dar al-Farooq recover from the attack.

ADVERTISEMENT

“As we mark the closing of a painful chapter, it is my hope that the members of Dar al-Farooq and the broader faith community impacted by this attack will continue to heal and regain a sense of safety and security,” Folk said.

Hari, who recently said she was transgender, was facing a minimum of 30 years in prison after being convicted by a federal grand jury in December on five charges in connection with the bombing.

Dar al-Farooq Executive Director Mohamed Omar asked the court on Monday to impose a life sentence, according to The Associated Press.

“Every time I want to pray or go to the mosque, [the memories of that day] are a dark cloud ... I feel terrorized ... this attacker came to damage and destroy our sense of security,” Omar said. “It damaged me and my community.”

The Justice Department said Hari established a militia terrorist group called “The White Rabbits” in Clarence, Ill.

Hari drove a rented pickup truck from Illinois to Bloomington with two others, Michael McWhorter and Joe Morris, to bomb the mosque. The three arrived at Dar al-Farooq at around 5 a.m. on Aug. 5.

ADVERTISEMENT

Morris used a sledgehammer to break the window of an office and threw a plastic container with a mixture of diesel fuel and gasoline. McWhorter then lit the fuse on a 20-pound black powder pipe bomb and threw it into the broken window.

The two men then ran back to the truck, where Hari was waiting, and the three drove back to Illinois.

McWhorter and Morris both pleaded guilty to their roles in the bombing in January 2019 and are awaiting sentencing.