Signal Mountain man admits to plotting deadly attack against Muslims

Former congressional candidate: Town 'must be utterly destroyed'

photo Robert "Bob" Doggart

Robert Doggart wanted to burn Islamberg to the ground.

In a plea agreement filed in federal court April 29, the Signal Mountain resident and former District 4 congressional candidate admitted he spent months gathering weapons and plotting an all-out assault on the small Muslim enclave in Delaware County, New York.

"We shall be Warriors who will inflict horrible numbers of casualties upon the enemies of our Nation and World Peace," he wrote in one Facebook post.

Doggart's plan seems to have been based on the fear that Islamberg residents were themselves planning a terrorist attack, though local law enforcement say no such plan exists. The town is the headquarters of Muslims of America.

It "must be utterly destroyed in order to get the attention of the American people," Doggart wrote in a February Facebook post.

Federal agents became aware of Doggart's plan in early 2015 and began surveillance. A local judge authorized a wiretap on March 15, according to a criminal complaint.

In recorded calls with a confidential source located in Texas, Doggart said he planned to travel to New York for "reconnaissance" in early April. He planned to check out the buildings he hoped to burn. But he told the source he would also bring his M-4 assault rifle with him "just in case," according to the complaint.

Doggart and the confidential source later met in Nasvhille. During that meeting, Doggart spoke of using molotov cocktails to firebomb a mosque, school and cafeteria in the town.

In a call recorded March 17, Doggart told a woman "we're gonna be carrying an M4 with 500 rounds of ammunition, light armor piercing. A pistol with 3 extra magazines and a machete. And if it gets down to the machete, we will cut them to shreds."

Other recorded calls revealed more specific plans for the firebombing and a desire to work with private militia groups. There is also reference in his calls to waiting until the federal government institutes martial law to carry out his attack. It's not clear whether that plan is related to the widely-circulated conspiracy theory involving a militia takeover of closed Texas Wal-Marts.

A cursory Google search reveals several conspiracy theories about paramilitary training in Islamberg as well, but local police have repeatedly denied seeing any threat from residents.

Doggart ran as an independent in 2014, picking up about six percent of the vote in a race that overwhelmingly elected U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais of South Pittsburg.

Doggart told Ballotpedia that his campaign themes included the integrity of the U.S. Constitution, "the protection of the American people, land, and our form of government by the professional military establishment," and "the governance of the Appropriations of our Nation in a fair and equitable manner."

He is facing a $250,000 fine and up to five years in prison after a plea to interstate communication of threats. He was put on pre-trial release two weeks ago after his attorneys told Magistrate Judge Susan K. Lee he had weaned himself off painkillers and stopped using alcohol while in the Hamilton County Jail.

In response to objections from the U.S. Attorney, U.S. District Judge Curtis R. Collier wrote "because the chief concern is that Defendant may want to travel to New York to inflict harm on people or destroy buildings, the home detention and location monitoring, along with being in the custody of family members, should go a significant way toward ensuring Defendant does not pose a danger."