Federal prosecutors will continue their case this morning against a Sequatchie County, Tenn., man accused of planning an attack on a Muslim community in 2015.
For two days, prosecutors have played wiretapped phone calls in which Robert Doggart openly discusses his plan to burn down mosques and other buildings at Islamberg in Hancock, N.Y. with several colleagues he found on Facebook militia sites.
Doggart, a 65-year-old former congressional candidate and Christian preacher, believed Islamberg members were planning to poison the Delaware River or attack New York City, according to the calls. He wanted to verify the threat first, but also spoke of using assault rifles and machetes at the 70-acre compound with a group of 10 supporters.
"We will be cruel to them," he often says during the recordings. "They will know who we are."
Doggart was arrested April 10, 2015, before he could carry out his plan, records show.
But throughout the planning process, Doggart either exaggerated or flat-out lied to his supporters to make himself seem more legitimate, his defense attorneys have argued.
They don't get to present proof until federal prosecutors are done with their case. But so far, the defense has tried to cast Doggart as a man who wanted attention and could only connect with people on Facebook.
The trial continues in U.S. District Judge Curtis Collier's courtroom today at 9 a.m. This is a developing story. Please check back later for more updates.