A community of Muslims in the Southern Tier is happy and relieved now that a Tennessee man who was plotting to attack them has been found guilty on four federal charges.
Leaders of Islamberg spoke Tuesday in Binghamton after returning from the trial. Located in Delaware County, New York, Islamberg is part of the national group The Muslims of America, Inc.
Last week, Robert Doggart of Tennessee was convicted of planning an armed attack against Islamberg in 2015. Doggart’s convictions include soliciting another person to commit arson.
Hussein Adams, chief executive of The Muslims of America, said no one expected what happened: a guilty verdict on all four of the charges.
"It’s proof that there’s power in ‘we the people,'" he said. "We have rights and will not sit idle."
Indeed, the group’s lawyer, Tahirah H. Clark, said they’ll go forward with civil cases against Doggart and at least one of the people he communicated with about the plot. She said they’ll also consider suing the cable channel Fox News. Doggart’s defense team said he’d been influenced by a false story on Fox.
"Everybody is now quite focused on fake news. But the Muslims of America has been dealing with the issue of fake news for over a decade," she said. "As is evidenced from the Robert Doggart case, you cannot take it lightly. Because it can put innocent lives at stake."
Doggart’s sentencing on the criminal charges is May 31st.