In April 2015, police discovered Robert Doggart began recruiting people in hopes to “burn down a mosque” in “Islamberg” a self-described Muslim community in upstate New York. However, the New York Daily News reports that the 65-year-old will not face terrorism charges because an attorney explained federal terrorism statutes focus on foreign and not homegrown extremists.
Doggart, who ran for Congress as an Independent in 2014, allegedly went on right-wing online forums and spoke openly about using AR-15 assault riffles in the potential attack. Doggart began to mastermind the heinous crime because he believed Hancock, New York, the small bubbling Muslim community, was a terrorist training ground. Thankfully, local law enforcement was able to stop it before it started.
Attorney representing the Islamberg community say there’s a loophole that is keeping Doggart from facing terrorism charges.
“There’s a gap in the law,” attorney Tahirah Amatul-Wadud said. “Frankly, there is nothing on terrorism unless it’s connected to a foreign element. You won’t see the KKK charged with domestic terror even though that’s what they do.”
However, Amatul-Wadud is relieved Doggart could face up to 10 years in prison, but believes had law enforcement not intercepted, he would’ve gone through with his plans.
“He did it to intimidate Muslims throughout the country — a civilian population — and acted as if he was going to be the world police, which is very anti-government,” Amatul-Wadud said.