Conspiracy to terrorize and commit mass murder: A former Tennessee congressional candidate and ordained minister has admitted in federal court to planning a terrorist attack on a Muslim community in Hancock, New York.
Robert Doggart, a 63-year-old Tennessee resident and former Third District Congressional candidate entered into a plea agreement late last week acknowledging his guilt in plotting the annihilation of a Muslim village known as Islamberg, a rural hamlet located in Hancock, New York.
Right wing conspiracy theorists have long argued that Islamberg, located in upstate New York, is home to an alleged Islamic terrorist camp.
Doggart was arrested last month after FBI officials said the ordained minister tried to recruit “expert Gunners” on social media to help him burn down a mosque, a school, and other buildings inhabited by Muslims living in Hancock, and gunning down anyone from the community who tried to stop them.
The ordained Christian National Church minister was recorded on a wiretapped phone talking about his plan to travel with members of a private Christian militia to conduct his terrorist action.
Doggart told a woman the following during a recorded phone call:
When we meet in this state, the people we seek will know who we are. We will be cruel to them, and we will burn down their buildings. If anyone attempts to harm us in any way, our stand gunner will take them down from 350 yards away.
According to court documents, in a Facebook post to his supporters Doggart wrote:
In a release, the public relations director for The Muslims of America (TMOA), Muhammad Matthew Gardner, said:
Our small group will soon be faced with the fight of our lives. We will offer those lives as collateral to prove our commitment to our God. We shall be Warriors who will inflict horrible numbers of casualties upon the enemies of our Nation and World Peace.
Doggart is an example of the results of unchecked and rampant Islamophobia which has spread lies for years about our peaceful community. This man plotted to mercilessly kill us, kill our children, and blow up our mosque and our school. All would agree, if a Muslim did this, the perpetrator would be immediately identified as a terrorist then prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The examples are numerous. Therefore, we call on all branches of justice to see to it that this man is prosecuted for planning a heinous hate crime and terrorist act.
Doggart has pleaded guilty to interstate communication of threats. The failed Christian terrorist has been released on a $30,000 bond to home confinement. He faces between up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
The punishment does not fit the crime. There seems to be a distinct double standard in the federal court’s treatment of Doggart, a Christian terrorist, and what would happen to a similarly situated Muslim terrorist. It is hard to imagine that a Muslim terrorist would be released on bond after admitting to planning a terrorist attack on a community, with plans to burn down a church, a school, and other inhabited buildings, while gunning down anyone from the community who tried to stop them.
Writing for Alternet, Zaid Jilani notes:
What’s particularly unusual about this case is first that the FBI chose not to publicize it and that no terror charges were brought. The second is that Doggart, despite expressing intent to commit terrorism, has been let out on bail. Can we imagine the FBI treating a would-be Muslim terrorist the same way?
Doggart should not be out on bond. It should be a given that anybody who plots to attack, kill, and terrorize innocent people in the name of their imaginary god forfeits their freedom, regardless of which imaginary god they serve.