Last week, the FBI arrested Robert Talbot Jr. on charges of planning a violent attack on a Houston-area mosque. A look into Talbot’s history reveals that he not only fosters a deep-seated hatred of Muslims and Islam, but also subscribes to conspiracy theories of an alleged Muslim Brotherhood takeover of the U.S. and the need to combat the so-called “New World Order.” Talbot’s plan to attack the mosque and Muslim institutions is the latest in a recent string of violence directed toward the Muslim-American community.
According to the FBI, Talbot’s plan was to recruit “like-minded” accomplices to “blow up government buildings, rob banks, and kill law enforcement officers.” In addition, Talbot targeted Islamic centers and mosques. Talbot allegedly planned to enter a mosque during Friday prayers and shoot worshippers during services. FBI officials have also stated that it was part of Talbot’s plan to rob an armored car and attack a mosque with a machine gun. To justify these acts of violence, Talbot said that he would be “doing the Will of God.”
Law enforcement officials state that Talbot is behind the conspiratorial anti-Muslim and anti-government Facebook page, American Insurgent Movement (AIM). In posts attributed to him, Talbot expressed racist and anti-Muslim conspiratorial sentiments that the U.S. has been infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood and that he intended to send “that White House worthless piece of dirt and his Muslim Brotherhood a message they will never forget.”
In a November 23, 2013 post, Talbot claimed that he is “not a racist person, but I’m only racist to those cultures whom show it, and this is why I don’t like Chinks, Muslims and a few other…” Talbot has also made threats against Obama administration advisor Valerie Jarrett, who was born in Iran and who Talbot alleged is “a Muslim.”
The ‘About’ section of AIM’s Facebook page states that it is a group intended for individuals seeking to “restore America Pre-Constitutionally and look forward to stopping the Regime with action by bloodshed.” Additionally, many of Talbot’s postings allude to the need to fight “New World Order,” a conspiracy theory typically revolving around claims that the U.S. government is trying to enslave, coerce, intimidate, scare, poison, or kill U.S. citizens on a mass scale.
In a March 1, 2014 post on the Facebook page, Talbot claimed that the NWO seeks “to turn American [sic] into their Marxist Muslim dream,” and that the “NWO can be stop [sic] and will be stopped.” In an earlier post from February 7, Talbot wrote that AIM is “Looking ONLY for ex-military or self-trained men who trained in guerrilla warfare and understand war/battle to the fullest.”
Talbot’s alleged plot is the latest in a series of recent incidents targeting Muslims and Muslim institutions:
- March 2014: The Prayer Center of Orland Park, located in a Chicago suburb, was fired at during early morning prayer services by an unknown attacker. A bullet allegedly struck the gold metal dome of the mosque.
- March 2014: Several shots were fired at the Islamic Center of Hattiesburg, Mississippi in the middle of the night. Law enforcement stated that it is considering the incident as a “malicious mischief case.”
- March 2014: An Iraqi immigrant was gunned down in a shopping center parking lot in Sacramento, California by an assailant who has expressed hatred for people of Middle Eastern descent. Law enforcement is treating the incident as a hate crime.