07:30 GMT17 February 2020
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    Robert R. Doggart, who ran for Congress in Tennessee in 2014, has admitted to plotting an attack against the Muslim community, with a plan that included shooting residents and burning down a mosque.

    “We will burn down their buildings (and) if anyone attempts to, uh, harm us in any way, our stand gunner will take them down from 350 yards away. The standoff gunner would be me. We're gonna be carrying an M4 with 500 rounds of ammunition, light armour [sic] piercing, a pistol with three extra magazines, and a machete, and if it gets down to the machete, we will cut them to shreds,” Doggart, 63, was recorded saying.

    According to an investigation by the FBI, Doggart had set the date for the attack as April 15.  His goal was to bring a private militia to “utterly destroy” Islamberg, a village in New York.  His intended targets included a mosque, a school, and a cafeteria — and he was ready to gun down anyone who attempted to stop him.

    “Those guys have 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 FBI informant in a recorded phone call in March.  Doggart reportedly gave conspirators advice to arm themselves with AR-15 and M-16 rifles.

    Doggart and co-conspirators justified their plan by claiming the area houses “terrorist training camps,” and that they believed they would be fighting terrorism — some may argue by becoming terrorists themselves.  

    Right-leaning media outlets, such as Fox News, have perpetuated these rumors, despite local law enforcement finding no such activities in the area.

    “Members of The Muslims of America primarily consist of African American Muslims of the Sunni sect of Islam who are indigenous Americans with Islamic roots spanning four generations. The first generations were mainly converts from various branches of Christianity. Local law enforcement and neighbors have nothing negative to say about the Islamberg community,” the group, which heavily populates the area, says about themselves.

    "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," a spokesperson for Muslims of America told Sky News.  “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.”

    Meanwhile, Doggart faces up to 5 years in prison and $250,000 in fines after admitting to one count of interstate communication of threats, the Independent reported.  

    A judge has not yet signed off on his plea agreement, though he’s been released on $30,000 bond.  He has not been charged with a hate crime or terrorism.

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    Tags:
    Hate Crime, Terrorism, Muslim, Robert Doggart, Islamberg
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