Robert Doggart was arrested in April 2015 after authorities discovered that he had been trying to recruit people to burn down a mosque in “Islamberg,” a self-named, predominantly Muslim community near Hancock, according to court records.
Doggart, 65, who ran for Congress as an Independent in 2014, allegedly went on right-wing online forums and openly talked about using AR-15 assault rifles to attack Muslims because he believed the small upstate community was an extremist training camp, records show. Authorities intercepted Doggart’s alleged plot before anyone was hurt.
He’s facing one count of solicitation to commit arson, one count of solicitation to commit a civil rights violation and two counts of threat in interstate commerce. But he’s not facing any terrorism charges and has been on house arrest since his initial capture.
Attorneys representing the Islamberg community in a seperate civil lawsuit claim a loophole in federal law allows defendants such as Doggart to escape terrorism charges.
“There’s a gap in the law,” attorney Tahirah Amatul-Wadud told the Daily News on Monday evening. “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.”