“Our small group will soon be faced with the fight of our lives. We will offer those lives as collateral to prove our commitment to our God.”
When ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi uttered the above statement, Americans shivered from fear. The media dissected this man’s life to find how his religiously-inspired extremism drove him to desire to kill freedom-loving people.
Wait. Apologies. We need to issue a correction – the above quote was not uttered by Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, but in fact by American Robert Doggart. Never heard of Robert Doggart? Well, allow us to further introduce you to this homegrown-terrorist. Doggart is a Christian minister and former Congressional candidate (who finished in third place in 2014). And the media, instead of dissecting his life, largely ignored the story.
A recent FBI sting operation found Doggart planned on going to Islamberg, NY to burn down a mosque and other buildings, preparing to kill anyone who stood in his way. According to the criminal complaint, Doggart stated, “If anybody attempts to, uh, harm us in any way; our standoff gunner will take them down from 350 yards away. The standoff gunner would be me.”
Perhaps you’re one of the few people who have heard this news and are flabbergasted that it was not broadcast on major media outlets. Here’s the interesting thing – not only did Doggart not face any terror charges, but he received a plea agreement for interstate communication of threats. Yes, that’s correct – he pleaded guilty to making a threat that happened to be in interstate commerce.
Better yet, Doggart is free on bond at this moment. This man, who claimed to have a battalion under his command, who stated he needed just under 20 people to carry out the attack, who showed informants his M-4 firearm, and displayed his motivation by saying, “If it gets down to the machete, we will cut them to shreds,” is in the comfort of his home right now.
This potential act of terrorism begs many questions. Why was this case not worthy of a press conference by the FBI so they could proudly show they have thwarted a terror attack? Why was this news not blasted throughout the airwaves to show the threat of this homegrown religious extremist? Why was this man given a plea deal and not slapped with a terror charge?
This is not a case of mental health. Robert Doggart is an engineer. He has a master’s degree and a Ph.D. Yes – this terrorist is a doctor. He was well-aware of the consequences of his actions and made a conscious effort to attack people in the name of religion.
This double-standard is an affront to American values. We must ensure that all men (and all violent extremists), are treated equally by law enforcement, our judicial system, and the media. Otherwise, our fight against violent extremism will fail to keep our homeland safe. Because anyone who declares, “We shall be Warriors who will inflict horrible numbers of casualties upon the enemies of our Nation and World Peace,” is a threat to our country. Even a Ph.D-holding, ex-congressional candidate, Christian minister.