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US politician plotted to burn down a Muslim community

Robert R. Doggart ran for election to US Congress last year.

Image: doggartforcongress.com via Heavy.com

A FORMER CANDIDATE for the the US House of Representatives has admitted to plotting an attack on a Muslim community in New York.

Robert R. Doggart, 63, made incriminating statements while in conversation with an FBI informant, stating that he intended to go to an area near Hancock, New York known as Islamberg, and burn down its mosque, school and cafeteria.

Doggart had run for US Congress last year as an independent candidate for Tennessee’s fourth district. He came third in the election after the local Republican and Democratic candidates.

Plan of attack

Doggart’s plan had not specifically focused on targeting residents, but he had said in a tapped conversation that he understood, “that if it’s necessary to die then that’s a good way to die” – speaking about the potential for armed engagement.

He had intended to carry out the action with the assistance of others he had been in contact with who would make up a small militia.

In a phone conversation tapped by the FBI, Doggart said to a ‘cooperating source’ that, “those guys [have] to be killed. Their buildings need to be burnt down. If we can get in there and do that not losing a man, even the better.”

It also says in his plea deal that he had intended to transport weapons, including bringing various firearms and a machete, to New York to carry out the attack.

He was arrested last month on charges relating to his intention to damage religious property, violate civil rights and making threats through interstate communications, according to US news site Heavy. 

After his arrest he pleaded guilty to interstate communication of threats as part of a plea deal, although this has not yet been signed off on by the judge.

In the plea agreement, it is stated that the former congressional candidate justified the attack by theorising that the residents Islamberg were planning a terrorist attack.

Response

There has been outcry among the Muslim community in the United States, feeling that the planned attack has not received enough attention.

In a press release, the Muslims of America, Inc., the group that a large number of the residents of Islamberg are associated with, has said that Doggart’s attempted action is an example of the, “unchecked and rampant Islamophobia which has spread lies for years about our peaceful community.”

Speaking about the incident, public relations director with the group, Muhammad Matthew Gardner, said:

In the same set of circumstances, our community would be facing unprecedented aggression and prosecution with labels of terrorism.

Doggart had worked in the Electrical Generation Business for 40 years, according to local news source the Shelbyville Times-Gazette. 

He is currently out on bail awaiting sentencing and could face up to five years in prison and a fine of €250,000.

Read: Alert after FBI warns that extremists could attack troops or police

Also: Islamic State militants say they’ve struck the US for the first time

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