Robert Doggart, 65, found guilty of planning to attack US mosque, school and restaurant
Robert Doggart, 65, an unsuccessful right-wing candidate for Tennessee Congress, was convicted of solicitation to commit arson and violate civil rights, as well as of making a threat in an interstate commerce, according to the US Department of Justice.
In 2015, Doggart planned to round up a militia and burn down a mosque, school and cafeteria in Islamberg, a community around 145 miles northwest of New York City, home to a large Muslim population.
He was arrested shortly after he told a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, during a wire-tapped phone call, that he planned to recruit a militia and travel to launch the attack.
The US District Court in Chattanooga, Tennessee heard the 65-year-old’s group planned to burn down the community’s mosque and shoot anyone who tried to stop them.
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Tom Wheeler, the Acting Assistant Attorney General said: "The defendant sought out others to join him in a violent attack on a community of men, women, and children because of their religion.”
But defence lawyers argued Doggart was encouraged to exaggerate his intentions by the informant, as he never had a solid plan in place, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.
Islamberg, Tompkins, New York is home to a large muslim population
The lawyers also argued that Doggart believed Islamberg residents were training for guerrilla warfare against the West, the newspaper reported.
The 200 or so members of the community, in which children are home-schooled and residents worship at a mosque within the gated community.
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A group of African-American Muslims who moved from US cities in the 1970s, launched Islamberg.
Doggart, who had been confined to his home since his apprehension, was taken into custody following Thursday's verdict, WRCB TV news reported. His sentencing is due to take place in May.
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