NS. PAUL, Min. – The leader of an Illinois anti-government militia that officials say is planning the job. 2017 Minnesota mosque bombing He will be convicted of various civil rights and hate crimes on Monday. attack on society.
Emily Claire HariFormerly known as Michael Hari and she said she was transgender recentlyis facing at least 30 years in prison for the attack on the Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington. Defense lawyers are seeking the minimum, but prosecutors are seeking a life sentence, saying Hari did not claim responsibility for the attack.
“This bomb – the Defendant’s bomb – was an act of terrorism aimed at destroying the heart of a community,” prosecutors wrote in the newspapers seeking life sentences. Although no one was physically injured, prosecutors wrote, “Defendant irreversibly destroyed the sense of security and peace that a place of worship should provide.”
Hari was convicted in December five offenses, including damage to property due to its religious nature and hindering the free practice of religious beliefs. He did not testify at the trial, and it was not known whether he would make a statement while sentencing.
Mohamed Omar, executive director of Dar al-Farooq, said he hopes Hari gets a life sentence to show that white supremacy will not be tolerated and that people should not be deprived of their freedom of worship. Omar said he and other community members plan to make victim impact statements at the hearing.
“We’ve just lost our sense of security,” said Omar, adding that Hari’s attack made the mosque a “hot spot” for harassment or intimidation and made people uncomfortable to pray. “It has become a struggle for us.”
On August 5, 2017, several men gathered to pray in the early morning when a pipe bomb was dropped from the window of an imam’s office in Dar al-Farooq. A seven-month investigation took officials to Clarence, Illinois, a rural community about 120 miles (190 kilometers) south of Chicago, where Hari and fellow defendants Michael McWhorter and Joe Morris live.
Authorities say Hari, 50, led a group called the White Rabbits, which included McWhorter, Morris and others, and uncovered Hari’s plan to attack the mosque. Prosecutors said it was motivated by Hari’s hatred of Muslims, citing excerpts from Hari’s manifesto, known as the White Rabbit Handbook.
Depicting Hari as a father figure, McWhorter and Morris each pleaded guilty five times and testified against him. They await punishment.
How the White Rabbits became aware of Dar al-Farooq was initially unclear, but the mosque was in the headlines in the years before the attack: some youths from Minnesota who had traveled to Syria to join ISIS had prayed there. Mosque leaders have never been accused of doing anything wrong. Hari’s lawyers wrote in court filings that Hari was the victim of online misinformation about the mosque.
Federal deputy advocacy Shannon Elkins also said gender discontent was fueling Hari’s “internal conflict”, saying she wanted to switch but knew she would be ostracized, so she formed a “ragged freedom fighter or paramilitary group” and “sneaked in” gender change online,” she said. surgery’ and ‘post-operative transgender’.
Prosecutors said gender aversion is not an excuse and “using it to deflect guilt is offensive”.
Hari has raised other issues with the court since his detention. Hours after her conviction, Hari called the Star Tribune and said she had started a hunger strike, describing the trial as “fake”.
Last week, he tried to delay his sentence, citing upcoming medical appointments for hormone replacement therapy and treating what his lawyer calls a life-threatening allergy, but a judge refused. Before revealing her problems with gender dysphoria, she also sued authorities at the Minnesota prison where she was staying, saying she objected to a woman’s making a search for religious reasons. That case was dismissed.
In their life sentence demands, prosecutors are seeking several improvements to their sentences, arguing that the bombing was a Hari-directed hate crime. They also say that Hari is blocking. tried to escape detention During his transfer from Illinois to Minnesota to stand trial in February 2019. Hari denies trying to escape.
A former deputy sheriff and self-identified entrepreneur and watermelon farmer, Hari wrote self-published books, including essays on religion, and came up with ideas for a border wall with Mexico. “Dr. Phil” talk show after he fled to the South American country of Belize during a custody dispute in the early 2000s. He was convicted of child abduction and sentenced to parole.
Hari also sued the federal government, accusing him of cutting his food safety business.
Before he was arrested in the mosque bombing in 2018, he used the screen name “Illinois Patriot” to post more than a dozen videos on YouTube, mostly of anti-government monologues. In a video just days before his arrest, Hari said the FBI and local law enforcement had terrorized Clarence, asking “freedom-loving people everywhere to come and help us.”
Hari, McWhorter and Morris were also charged in the November 2017 failed attack on an abortion clinic in Champaign, Illinois. The plea deals for McWhorter and Morris say the men participated in an armed home invasion in Indiana and an armed robbery or attempted armed robbery of two Walmart stores in Illinois.
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