Robert Doggart, a man who ran for US Congress last year in Tennessee, has pleaded guilty to plotting an attack on a small Muslim enclave in upstate New York.
He allegedly plotted to attack the Muslim community with an M-4 assault rifle, Molotov cocktails, explosives and even a machete. He mentioned the school and mosque as two specific targets. Clearly, he is a terrorist and very dangerous one at that. However, there is little coverage of the case against Doggart from American media. Why? Maybe because he isn't a Muslim planning to attack christian America.
His target, Islamberg, is a small community of Muslims, founded in the 1980s in upstate New York, about 40 miles east of Binghamton. It has long been the source of conspiracy theories and rumors about terrorist conspiracies - though local law enforcement says there is no evidence to these.
Doggart ran as an independent in last year's congressional race and finished with just 6 percent of the vote.
Federal agents began investigating Doggart following a Facebook posting in which he claimed a community outside of Hancock, New York, was planning a terrorist attack and "must be utterly destroyed," according to the plea agreement entered last month.
On April 24, Doggart entered into a plea agreement, pleading guilty to one count of making threats via the phone, and he will be fined up to $250,000 and spend as much as five years in prison pending a judge’s approval of the deal.
The FBI says Doggart was planning to firebomb and burn down the mosque, school and other buildings in the town and to use an assault rifle, pistol and even a machete to killed anyone who resisted him, according to an investigation that began early this year.
Those guys should 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,' Doggart told an accomplice, according to a transcript of his wiretapped phone calls.
Doggart had allegedly begun stockpiling weapons and ammunition and reaching out to people across the country who shared his extremist views.
He planned to use his M-4 assault rifle, a handgun, molotov cocktails and explosives in the assault on Islamberg. He specifically cited the school and the mosque as targets, according to federal court documents.
However, there is controversy surrounding the way the case against Doggart has recieved little coverage from American media.
Dean Obeidallah, in the Daily Beast
questioned, 'If Doggart had been Muslim and had planned to kill Christians in America, we would have seen wall-to-wall media coverage. Fox News would have cut into its already-daily coverage of demonizing Muslims to do a special report really demonizing Muslims. And few can doubt that a Muslim would’ve been charged with terrorism-related crimes.'
One of the reason behind the limited news coverage is that there was no detailed press conferences or a press release from the FBI or US attorney general's office.
In fact, this incident would have likely been ignored but for the local Islamberg community reaching out to the media. The community, which operates on land owned by The Muslims of America, is wary of outside journalists. However, organizers there responded furiously to reports that Doggart was planning an attack.
The group issued a photo children from the community's school with a sign that read: 'Why do you want to kill us Robert Doggart?'
The group expressed anger about the plea deal, claiming Doggart was getting off easy and not being prosecuted under anti-terrorism laws.
Spokesman Muhammad Matthew Gardner said: '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...
'What other murderous plans do he and his private militia (also known as American Taliban) have and where are his accomplices? 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... 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.'