Congressional candidate and former government engineer, Robert Doggart, was convicted this week in U.S. District Court of recruiting people to burn down a mosque in a Muslim community in New York — and kill those who opposed it.
“Unless somebody goes up there and burns down their buildings and kills whoever opposes the burning down of those buildings, [Islamberg] is gonna do that,” Doggart, 65, said on a government-tapped line as he voiced his delusional fears about a peaceful Muslim community in New York.
Prosecutors had Doggart recorded in multiple damning calls and argued that the former Tennessee Valley Authority employee be convicted of one count of solicitation to commit a civil rights violation, one count of solicitation to commit arson of a building, and two counts of threat in interstate commerce.
Absent from the conviction, however, were any charges related to terrorism or the plotting thereof. Lawyers representing the Islamberg community, the target of Doggart’s deranged attack, claim a loophole in federal law allows defendants such as Doggart to escape terrorism charges.
“There’s a gap in the law,” lawyer Tahirah Amatul-Wadud told the NY Post. “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.”
According to the Patriot Act, the freedom-stripping Orwellian-named set of laws passed in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, prosecutors can only charge a defendant with domestic terrorism if he or she had the intention to “intimidate” or “coerce” a civilian population, or influence the “policy of a government” to affect the conduct of government by “mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.”
Arguably, Doggart was guilty of all these acts. “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,” said Ms. Amatul-Wadud.
According to the Times Free Press, during Doggart’s proceedings, attorneys for Islamberg reiterated their desire to have a federal charge that could apply to alleged domestic terrorists, like Dylann Roof, the convicted white supremacist who killed nine African-American churchgoers in South Carolina.
Attorney Tahirah Clark, who is representing the town of Islamberg in a lawsuit against Doggart, praised the jury’s courage, saying their verdict delivered a strong message to all Americans. “To sit there for a week and listen to this criminal, this terrorist, speak to others about killing our families, about burning down our village, that was very difficult I think the jury should be commended.”
However, likely due to his state connections, Doggart got off easy. Even with the audio, proving Doggart had been recruiting militiamen from across the country to help him carry out this attack, the jury almost forced a mistrial after being unable to reach a unanimous verdict.
“I don’t know when it’s going to happen,” Doggart said, “but it’s got to be —”, he was then cut off by one of his recruits, a militiaman from South Carolina, William Tint.
“I have two cousins that are captains in police departments out in New York as well,” Tint interjected, implicating police in the attack as well. “If you’re a man short, I will jog out there and stand by you.
“Senator Doggart, how do you feel about being my running mate?” Tint asked.
As the Times Free Press reports, Tint offered to provide 50 men from South Carolina and another 150 from New York, and said he had experience in demolitions, and agreed the men should meet.
Luckily, these men were stopped before they carried out this destruction and murder.
“Our nation cannot tolerate threats by those who are willing to kill innocent children, women, and men who do not share their religious beliefs or philosophy,” Nancy Harr, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, said in a statement.
As a result of the conviction, Doggart faces up to 10 years maximum on each of the four charges for which he will be sentenced on May 31.
What Doggart’s case illustrates and what is also backed up by loads of data, is the fact that far more Americans are targeting Muslims than Muslims are targeting Americans.
As Claire Bernish eloquently pointed out, Terrorism doesn’t practice one religion, or have a single nationality. It doesn’t have a specific appearance, gender, motivation, cause, or mindset.
You can’t fight terrorism by ignoring facts — and the fact is, we have our own terrorists.