FILE - In this Aug. 15, 2017 file photo, Law enforcement officials investigate an explosion at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minn. Federal authorities said Tuesday, March 13, 2018, they have charged three men from rural central Illinois with the bombing of a Minnesota mosque last year and one of the men told an investigator the goal of the attack was to "scare" Muslims out of the United States. A statement from the U.S. attorney's office in Springfield, Illinois, says the men also are suspected in the attempted bombing of an abortion clinic in November. (David Joles/Star Tribune via AP File)

Attention turns to affiliations of mosque-bombing suspects

March 14, 2018 - 1:12 am

CHICAGO (AP) — Why three men allegedly chose to travel some 500 miles (805 kilometers) from a rural farming community of less the 100 residents in Illinois to bomb a particular mosque in suburban Minneapolis isn't clear.

But a complaint released as they were charged Tuesday in the 2017 attack on the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center includes a chilling comment one suspect allegedly made about their desired effect: It said they hoped to scare Muslims into leaving the U.S.

Attention by investigators and members of the mosque now turns to the suspects' affiliations and what else these might reveal about their motivations.

Another suspect, Michael Hari, sued the government last month in central Illinois, complaining it cut into his food-safety certification business. He described in a 2017 Chicago Tribune article a plan he drafted to build a wall along the border with Mexico, citing President Donald Trump's call for a wall.

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