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Apr 17, 10:00 AM EDT

Men charged in mosque bombing will face weapons charge first


URBANA, Ill. (AP) -- Federal prosecutors will try four men on a weapons charge in Illinois before three of the defendants stand trial in a mosque bombing case in Minnesota.

The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports a federal judge ruled Monday. Forty-seven-year-old Michael Hari, 29-year-old Michael McWhorter, 22-year-old Joe Morris and 18-year-old Ellis Mack face charges in Illinois of possession of a machine gun.

Hari, McWorter and Morris, all of Clarence, Illinois, are also charged in Minnesota with bombing the Dar al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington last August. The explosion caused fire damage, but no injuries.

Attorneys requested a 60-day delay in the Minnesota case, in which an indictment needed to be filed by April 25. The judge's order means prosecutors now have until June 22. The Illinois trial is scheduled to begin June 5.

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Information from: The News-Gazette, http://www.news-gazette.com

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