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Three Illinois men charged with Bloomington mosque bombing

Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center
Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center

For the Star Tribune, Stephen Montemayor reports, “Three Illinois men have been charged with the Aug. 2017 bombing of a Bloomington Islamic center, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said on Tuesday. Michael McWhorter, 29; Joe Morris, 22 and Michael Hari, 47, are each charged with ‘using an explosive device to maliciously damage and destroy’ the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center in the predawn hours of Aug. 5, 2017, using a PVC pipe bomb made by Hari.”

The New York Times story, by Matt Stevens, says, “Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Mr. McWhorter, Mr. Hari, Mr. Morris and a fourth man — Ellis Mack, 18 — on Tuesday morning. The authorities say that the men, who are all from Clarence, Ill., were illegally in possession of assault rifles from October 2017 to March 2018. The affidavit describes a tangled, hateful criminal enterprise in which the four men from a rural part of Illinois, more than 500 miles from Bloomington, Minn., hoarded high-powered guns, made bombs and committed robberies at a drug dealer’s house and three Wal-Mart Stores.” All in defense of liberty, of course.

In the Champaign-Urbana News Gazette Mary Schenk and Ben Zigterman report, “Hari, a former Ford County sheriff’s deputy and one-time Libertarian candidate for sheriff, is believed to have been the leader of a homegrown domestic terrorism group to which the other men belonged.”

Got it. This from the Catholic News Agency: “Archbishop Bernard Hebda of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said it is the duty of the laity to represent the Catholic faith in the public arena, especially pointing to the current debate surrounding immigration. … The archbishop’s call to action in a March 8 column for The Catholic Spirit comes in preparation for the second of three ‘Capitol 101’ workshops, focusing on educating and encouraging the Minnesota faithful to better participate in the legislative process.”

A somewhat anti-climactic scoop. WCCO-TV says: “Free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins will sign with the Minnesota Vikings Wednesday. WCCO’s Mark Rosen reports that a source told him that Cousins will sign with the team for $28 million a year. There’s no word yet on how long the contract will be for. Free agency officially begins at 3 p.m. Wednesday. On Tuesday, it was also reported that former Vikings quarterback Case Keenum will sign with the Denver Broncos.”

It’s a start. MPR’s Tim Pugmire reports: “Minnesota’s recent backlog of elder abuse complaints resulted in a critical report last week from the Office of the Legislative Auditor that said investigators had not met their ‘responsibilities to protect vulnerable adults.’ Recommendations from that report, as well as those brought forward by a working group that Gov. Mark Dayton appointed last year, are included in a $15 million package of legislation the governor announced Tuesday with lawmakers from both parties.

Just another friendly reminder: the robots are taking over. CNN Tech as a story about a Wells Fargo artificial intelligence system picking the site of Amazon’s HQ2. Says Kaya Yurieff, “Boston will win Amazon’s second headquarters, according to an artificial intelligence system developed by Wells Fargo Securities. The bank’s stock-picking robot, called Aiera, thinks the city is the likely choice to host HQ2. … Behind Boston, Aiera selected the following cities in order: Chicago, Atlanta, New York City and Toronto.”

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