Alleged Clarence leader of Minnesota mosque bombing voiced anti-government views

Claimed ringleader, Michael Hari is a former Ford County Sheriff's Deputy and posted YouTube videos delivering anti-government monologues. (WCCU)

An attack to scare Muslims into leaving the United States -- authorities said that was the motive behind the bombing of the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic center in Bloomington, Minnesota August 2017.

According to the FBI, Michael McWhorter, Joe Morris and the claimed ringleader, Michael Hari, are responsible for the attack. The FBI said the three men are also responsible for the attempted bombing of Champaign's Women's Health Practice last November.

Court documents show 47-year-old Hari had a history that included voicing anti-government views. Under the screen name, Illinois Patriot, Hari posted videos on YouTube criticizing the justice department as a 'political animal.'

Hari is also a former Ford County Sheriff's Deputy and has self-published books and essays on religion. He filed a federal lawsuit in February 2017 against The Department of Agriculture, complaining it was cutting in on his food safety certification Clarence business, ‘Equicert’.

Authorities said in the early 2000's, Hari fled the U.S. to live in Mexico then Belize, taking his two teenage daughters with him. Reports showed he fled for fear his ex-wife would gain custody because of legal proceedings, and in 2006 he was convicted of child abduction.

After the FBI received a tip in February about explosive devices on a Clarence property, authorities searched the property and found multiple pipe bombs planted in the backyard and the homeowners said Hari was responsible. Hari allegedly sent the phony tip to the ATF. When FOX Champaign went out to the scene we interviewed Josie McWhorter and later learned she was the wife of suspect Michael McWhorter.

The FBI interviewed Josie two weeks before her husband's arrest for the mosque bombing. Josie told the FBI the last time she talked to her husband on the phone she asked him where he was saying the FBI wanted to talk, but he told her “I can't tell you, I love you," then ended the call. Josie eventually gave authorities three cell phones she claimed belonged to Hari, Morris and Michael McWhorter.

When FBI got in touch with McWhorter, authorities said he admitted to participating in the attempted bombing of the Champaign clinic and the bombing of the Minnesota mosque. Authorities added it is still unclear why the mosque in Minnesota was targeted.

Residents in Clarence say Hari's anti-government militia group is planning to hold a protest and cook-out in Clarence Saturday. The Ford County Sheriff's Office tells FOX Champaign they are aware of that event.

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