(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/8/15) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today questioned what it said was a light sentence handed to a domestic terrorist who planned to massacre Muslims at American mosques.
CAIR said a U.S. District Court judge in Houston sentenced Robert James Talbot Jr. to just 78 months in federal prison after ignoring a request from prosecutors for a maximum 20-year sentence for plotting to commit acts of domestic terrorism, including the attacks on mosques.
Talbot, who was arrested in 2014 after an eight-month FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force investigation, admitted plotting to recruit other terrorists to blow up government buildings, rob banks and kill police.
He also planned to conduct other “training missions” at mosques during which he would kill as many men, women and children as possible. He was arrested after meeting with undercover agents who he thought were going to help him blow up a mosque.
“Such a light sentence for planned acts of domestic terrorism sends the message that the penalty may depend on the intended targets and on the background of the perpetrator,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper. “We appreciate the efforts of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force that brought this planned campaign of domestic terrorism to light.”
Hooper noted that earlier this year CAIR questioned the release of a Tennessee man who admitted to planning a similar terror attack on a Muslim community in New York.
CAIR also questioned the low bail for a man who was arrested recently for an alleged bias-motivated attack on an Indiana Muslim woman.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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