Right Wing Extremist Robert Doggart Sentenced to 235 Months
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CHATTANOOGA, T.N. – Former Tennessee congressional hopeful Robert Doggart, 63, was sentenced to 235 months in federal prison after an FBI investigation discovered he was plotting to attack a Muslim community in New York in 2015. He was arrested a day before the attack was planned to take place, court documents showed.
Doggart was found guilty earlier this year of solicitation to commit a civil rights violation, solicitation to commit arson of a building and making a threat in interstate commerce.
Doggart also faces a lawsuit brought by the very people he targeted, the Muslims of America.
The complaint is believed to be one of the first of its kind, according to TMOA public relations director Muhammad Matthew Gardner. TMOA is bringing the suit under 18 U.S. Code § 248, the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act of 1994 (FACE Act) which “prohibits individuals from using force, intimidation, or threat of force or by physical obstruction against a person lawfully exercising or seeking to exercise their First Amendment right of religious freedom at a place of religious worship,” according to Gardner.
“We filed this civil action because these defendants need to be held accountable for their atrocious behavior toward American Muslims,” Tahirah H. Clark, co-counsel for the plaintiff along with Tahirah Amatul-Wadud said in a TMOA press release.
Solicitation to commit a civil rights violation holds a maximum sentence of 10 years.
The community of Islamberg is no stranger to threats and attacks by right-wing extremists. Throughout the years the community in up-state New York has been targeted by right-wing outlets claiming the group is a “terrorist training” ground.
Sean Hannity, assault rifles and confidential informants
Last year the community was not only targeted by Doggart and right-wing media outlets but was also subjected to threats by infamous Islamaphobe and Arizona resident Jon Ritzheimer. In a video posted online Ritzheimer could be seen cocking a gun before stating he planning to drive to New York to confront the community for calling him a terrorist.
Ritzheimber is now facing charges for his role in the Burns, Oregon militia standoff.
Court documents give this account of the case:
Doggart wrote on Facebook that Islamberg needed to be “utterly destroyed,” and the investigation by the FBI showed that he spoke with numerous individuals across the country in order to plan an attack. Court documents also revealed Doggart was inspired by an episode of Sean Hannity that claimed the community was a “terrorist training ground.”
Recently the court decided to unseal wiretap documents pertaining to an individual in South Carolina who Doggart was in contact with who may have been a co-conspirator. The documents have not been made available to the public as of yet.
During a phone call with a confidential FBI source in Texas, Doggart stated he planed to injure or kill the inhabitants of the Muslim school, mosque and cafeteria located in Hancock.
Doggart also traveled to South Carolina, where he met with individuals from an unidentified militia group and stated his M-4 assault rifle was “battle tested” and later solicited for extra “gunners” via Facebook.
The FBI found that Doggart had maps of the Hancock complex as well as literature on gun laws in New York state and spoke with an FBI informant about making Molotov cocktails in order to burn the buildings.
Magistrate Susan K. Lee decided to release Doggart under surveillance, over the objections of federal officials.
Doggart could not be reached for comment. His social-media accounts, as well as his campaign website, no longer function.
The Muslims of America, the group targeted by Doggart, issued a press release stating their dissatisfaction with the court’s releasing Doggart on bail.
“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,” said Muhammad Matthew Gardner, public-relations director for the group.
Gardner called for Doggart to be prosecuted for hate crimes and attempting to commit a terrorist act, according to the release. Prosecutors also urged Doggart be sentenced as a terrorist.
According to ballotpedia.org, Doggart worked in the nuclear, fossil and hydroelectric engineering fields for the past 40 years and received 6.4 percent of the vote in the 2014 congressional election in which the incumbent, GOP Rep. Scott Desjarlais, won. Doggart ran as an independent.