NASHVILLE (AP) — A man who ran for Congress last year in East Tennessee has pleaded guilty to plotting an attack on a small Muslim enclave in New York.
Federal agents began investigating Robert Doggart of Signal Mountain following a Facebook posting in which he claimed a community outside of Hancock, New York, was planning a terrorist attack and “must be utterly destroyed,” according to the plea agreement entered last month.
This area in Delaware County is known as “Islamberg,” a self-named community consisting primarily of Muslims.
Via cellphone, Doggart also told unnamed people cooperating with the FBI that his plan involved killing residents and burning at least three buildings. He met with at least one source in Nashville.
“Those guys (have) to be killed,” Doggart said during one call. “Their buildings need to be burnt down.”
During the same call, Doggart told the person on the phone that pistols couldn’t be carried from Tennessee to New York because the city doesn’t have carry permit reciprocity, but that “AR-15s, M-4s or M-16s” could be brought.
Doggart said he planned to bring his M-4 rifle with four magazines, according to the court document.
Meanwhile, Doggart’s allegations that residents of Islamberg are planning some kind of attack of their own are unfounded, Delaware County Undersheriff Craig DuMond told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
“We have no reason to believe that any of the allegations made ... are accurate,” DuMond said.
Doggart pleaded guilty to a charge of interstate communication of threats.
He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. His attorney told the AP that a judge is still reviewing the plea agreement.
Doggart ran as an independent in last year’s District 4 congressional race and finished with just 6 percent of the vote. He participated in a political debate in McMinnville sponsored by the Southern Standard and WCPI.