|Photo from Robert Doggart YouTube|
NEW YORK— A Tennessee man who plotted an attack on an upstate New York mosque in 2015 has escaped terrorism charges. According to attorneys, it’s because federal terrorism rulings allegedly only focus on foreign extremists.
In 2015, police learned that Robert Doggart, 65, had been trying to gather people to burn down a mosque in a primarily Muslim community near Hancock, which is self-named “Islamberg”, and arrested him.
According to court records, Doggart ran for Congress as an Independent in 2014 and purportedly went on right-wing online forums— stating that he’d use AR-15 assault rifles to attack Muslims because he believed the community trained terrorists.
Authorities stopped Doggart's plot before he harmed anyone.
Now, he’s facing charges of soliciting another person to attack a mosque, one count of solicitation to commit a civil rights violation and two counts of threat in interstate commerce. However, he managed to avoid terrorism charges and has been under house arrest since he was caught.
In a separate lawsuit, attorneys for the Islamberg community said there’s a hole in federal law when it comes to terrorism charges.
"There's a gap in the law," attorney Tahirah Amatul-Wadud told the New York Daily News on Monday. "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."