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Thursday, 23 September 2021

US mosque-bomber gets 53 years in prison

Emily Claire Hari, 50, was convicted last year on five counts including the bombing, destruction of religious property and using force to obstruct worship, the department said in a statement late Monday

AFP , Tuesday 14 Sep 2021
Minnesota mosque AP
Acting U.S. Attorney Anders Folk, center right, and Imam Mohamed Omar, center, left, Executive Director of Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center, emerge from the U.S. Courthouse together Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, in St. Paul, Minn., after the leader of an Illinois anti-government militia group, who authorities say masterminded the 2017 bombing of the Minnesota mosque, was sentenced to 53 years in prison for an attack that terrified the mosque's community. ( AP)
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A transgender woman who led a militia called The White Rabbits has been sentenced to 53 years in prison for bombing a Minnesota mosque in 2017, the Justice Department announced.

Emily Claire Hari, 50, was convicted last year on five counts including the bombing, destruction of religious property and using force to obstruct worship, the department said in a statement late Monday.

It said that Hari -- who at the time identified as a man, Michael Hari -- organized a "terrorist militia group" named The White Rabbits in Clarence, Illinois.

Hari recruited two men, Michael McWhorter and Joe Morris, into the group, and on August 5, they attacked the Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center (DAF) in Bloomington, Minnesota, around 500 miles (800 kilometers) away.

In the early morning hours, as some people were gathering at the mosque for prayers, they broke a window and threw containers of volatile fuel and a pipe bomb inside, which exploded, causing heavy damage.

"Hari targeted DAF specifically to terrorize Muslims into believing they are not welcome in the United States and should leave the country," the department said.

In January 2019, McWhorter and Morris pleaded guilty to the bombing, while Hari fought the case at trial.

Hari's two accomplices have not yet been sentenced.

"Hari sought to terrorize an entire faith community. Today's sentence makes clear that such acts of hate-fueled terror will not be tolerated," said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco in a statement.

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