Danger of Anti-Muslim Responses

The Clarion Project, the organization that oversees Fuqra Files, is a proud supporter of Muslims who stand against Islamist extremism and unequivocally condemns anti-Muslim sentiment, including any harassment, bigotry or threats directed towards members of Jamaat ul-Fuqra/Muslims of America.

We provide information to the authorities related to violent threats and illegal activity of any kind we come across., including those directed against MOA and groups we criticize. The threat from anti-Muslim extremists is not to be dismissed, as evidenced by violent plots targeting Muslims, including Fuqra/MOA, which we outline below.

A May 2015 FBI report warned that extremist militias who target U.S. government and law enforcement personnel and perceived opponents of gun rights have become also become increasingly hostile to Muslims in recent years. These extremists have begun deceitfully conflating MOA with the Islamic State terrorist group in online postings.

The purpose of this section is to document plots against MOA by anti-Muslim extremists.

Contrary to some media reports, these individuals are not radicalized or provoked by comprehensive research regarding MOA. They first adopt an extremist ideology that believes in attacking a wide range of targets, with MOA being one of many.

Plot to Bomb Islamberg by 3 Young Adults, 1 Teenager (2019)

In 2019, the authorities arrested 18-year old Andrew Crysel, 20-year old Brian Culaneri, 19-year old Vincent Vetromile and an unidentified 16-year old for plotting to bomb Islamberg, going so far as to assemble three usable improvised explosive devices and 23 firearms. The plotters were motivated by a stated desire to target all Muslims, wage war on “the liberal/Muslim horde,” and to trigger a nationwide violent revolution. Their social media activity did not include any references to Islamberg, indicating that the commune was chosen as a target simply because it is a nearby Muslim community.

Vetromile and Crystel also appeared in a video with the Confederate flag. Vetromile wrote online in 2016 that he sought to create a “resistance faction” in upstate New York that would resist “the cruelties and mistreatment of the general populace by government.”

Robert Doggart and “OAF” Militia Plot to Attack Islamberg, NY (2015)

Robert Doggart-Criminal Who Tried to Attack Fuqra Base
Robert Doggart-Criminal Who Tried to Attack Fuqra Base

Eleven anti-Muslim and anti-government extremists were involved in plans to attack Islamberg in Hancock, N.Y. in 2015, spearheaded by an ordained minister and failed congressional candidate named Robert Doggart in Tennessee. According to the plea agreement, Doggart schemed with members of a militia known as “OAF.”

Doggart believed that the federal government was planning on instituting martial law and contemplated postponing the attack on Islamberg until after it happens. He was recorded referring to expected events in Texas and Utah that would divert the federal government’s attention. They also considered seizing a military installation in order to make a “flash point” to show they are “sick and tired of the crap the government is pulling.”

Doggart said he planned to “inflict horrible numbers of casualties upon the enemies of our Nation and World Peace.” He planned to use Molotov cocktails to attack a mosque, cafeteria and school inside Islamberg and to shoot residents. He was willing to die in the attack, but would prefer to escape before local police could respond.

He communicated with militia colleagues in South Carolina, Texas and Tennessee and showed an informant his M-4 gun. One offered to recruit an explosives ordinance disposal expert. Doggart aspired to have up to 20 “gunners” that would “be cruel” during the attack. He planned to bring a M-4 with 500 light armor-piercing rounds, a pistol with three extra magazines and a machete.

One of Doggart’s conspirators, William Tore Tint of South Carolina, pled guilty to lying to the FBI about Doggart’s plans. He is identified in a MOA lawsuit as a veteran of the South Carolina National Guard and founder of “Operation America Freedom,” likely the “OAF” militia referred to in the plea agreement.

Doggart alleged plots by Islamberg residents without evidence, further showing that Doggart and his coconspirators acted upon a fantastical and paranoid worldview. He claimed in a phone call that was wiretapped by the FBI that there were 140 people inside Islamberg and 40 are fighters who planned to enter New York City and attack at four locations. He also alleged that Islamberg residents were planning to poison the Delaware River. He believed the FBI and DHS knew of Islamberg’s imminent attack and was ordered not to impede it.

Responsible reporting on MOA never claimed to have discovered an active terrorist plot or that Islamberg planned such operations.

MOA says that their civil suit resulted in the identifying of Barbara Jones of Jonesboro, Arkansas and Shane Schielein of Bellevue, Illinois, as two of the other unnamed co-conspirators that federal prosecutors referred to.

Jon Ritzheimer (2015)

The FBI issued an alert in December 2015 after anti-Muslim extremist Jon Ritzheimer of Phoenix, Arizona, published “a video which could have been perceived as threatening against the Muslim community in Hancock, New York,” in the words of the Bureau.

Ritzheimer states in the video that he is driving across the country with a friend to confront the Islamic Post, the MOA newspaper, for calling him a terrorist, shouting “f— you Muslims, f— all of you.” He then shows a handgun and says “we’re ready for ‘em…bring it on, you Muslim f—s!”

Ritzheimer previously threatened to arrest Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) for “treason” for voting in favor of the Obama Administration’s deal with Iran over its nuclear program and sanctions. He was arrested in January 2016 in relation to a standoff between law enforcement and militiamen in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge of Oregon.