US Christian minister indicted in planning to burn mosque

8th Jul 2015

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA): A federal grand jury on Tuesday indicted a former congressional candidate with one-count of soliciting help to attack a New York mosque in violation of federal civil rights laws.

Robert Doggart, 63, of Tennessee planned to burn a mosque, school and a cafeteria in Islamberg, a small Muslim-majority town in New York state.

He solicited the help of others through Facebook and phone calls “to damage and destroy religious property (a mosque), knowing the religious nature of the property,” according to court documents.

Doggart, a Christian minister, was released on $30,000 bail to two family members earlier this week after he pleaded guilty to one count of interstate communication of threats. He was released on condition that he seek psychiatric treatment, according to media reports.

In the decision to release Doggart, a judge said prosecutors had failed to prove his release would pose a “true threat” under federal law.

Doggart was arrested in May for plotting the attack, which was to include the use of guns, explosives and a machete to attack buildings and kill Muslims.

If convicted, Doggart faces up to 10 years in prison.

The case is being investigated by the FBI, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Perry H. Piper and Chris Poole of the Eastern District of Tennessee, and Civil Rights Division Trial Attorney Saeed Mody.

 

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