CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - A federal jury Thursday convicted a Tennessee man of planning to attack a mosque in New York.
The Chattanooga Free Press reports that 65-year-old Robert Doggart was found guilty of solicitation to commit a civil rights violation, solicitation to commit arson of a building and making a threat in interstate commerce.
The jury told U.S. District Judge Curtis Collier that it was deadlocked Wednesday. Collier didn’t declare a mistrial and told jurors to return Thursday for more deliberations.
Prosecutors said Doggart stockpiled weapons and communicated with others about plans to attack a Muslim community called Islamberg. An FBI agent showed jurors an M-4 rifle seized from Doggart’s home and prosecutors played a series of conversations Doggart had with a confidential informant in March 2015.
Doggart’s attorneys argued that he never had a consistent plan in place, he was entrapped by a confidential informant and he only wanted to conduct reconnaissance on Islamberg.
Attorneys for Islamberg said Doggart was not charged with terrorism because the federal government doesn’t have a “catch-all” law punishing domestic terrorists, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported. The attorneys said prosecutors used non-terrorism charges for Doggart’s case because current statutes are largely aimed at foreign radical groups.
Doggart, of Signal Mountain, ran for Congress in 2014 in East Tennessee and finished with six percent of the vote.