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3 men face hate crime charges in Minn. mosque bombing

MINNEAPOLIS — A grand jury has added civil rights and hate crimes violations to charges three Illinois men face in the bombing of a mosque in the Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington. Federal prosecutors announced the new five-count indictment Thursday against 47-year-old Michael Hari, 29-year-old Michael McWhorter and 23-year-old Joe Morris. 

They were previously charged with arson in Minnesota. They're being held in Illinois on separate charges.

They're accused of traveling from Clarence, Illinois, to carry out the Aug. 5 pipe-bombing at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center. The explosion damaged an office just as morning prayers were about to begin, but nobody was hurt.

The indictment alleges they conspired to bomb the mosque to make Muslims feel frightened and intimidated, thus interfering with their religious freedom.

Officials said at the time that witnesses saw someone throw something from a truck or van before the blast and saw a vehicle speed away afterward. Mosque leaders later released security video from inside the mosque that caught the moments before the explosion, and some smoke and flying debris. The video didn't show the blast itself.

Gov. Mark Dayton called the bombing an act of terrorism when he and other officials visited the mosque the day after the explosion.