Domestic terrorism trial pushed to November

 

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URBANA — U.S. District Court Judge Colin Bruce agreed to push back the trial for four Ford County men accused of being in a homegrown domestic terrorism group to November.

Previously scheduled for August, the trial for Michael Hari, 47, Michael McWhorter, 29, Joe Morris, 23, and Ellis Mack, 18, is now scheduled to begin Nov. 13.

The four Clarence men, who appeared Friday at the federal courthouse in Urbana, continue to be jailed in the Central District of Illinois on charges of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by threats and violence and possession of a machine gun for crimes they allegedly committed in Illinois and Indiana last year.

Hari, McWhorter and Morris are also charged with attempted arson for trying to burn down the Women's Health Practice, 2125 S. Neil St., C, on Nov. 7. The homemade explosive device employed in the attempt fizzled before it could do any damage.

The three older men have also been indicted by a federal grand jury in Minnesota for civil rights and hate crime violations in connection with the firebombing of a mosque there last August.

The bomb exploded Aug. 5 at the Dar al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minn., setting off a fire that damaged the office but didn't physically injure anyone.

Hari, a former Ford County sheriff's deputy, is the leader of the militia group known as the "White Rabbits" allegedly behind these incidents.