KKK member and his friend built ‘truck-mounted death ray’ and wanted to ‘kill President Obama and Muslims in revenge for Boston bombings’
Published: 21:12 GMT, 19 June 2013 | Updated: 18:00 GMT, 20 June 2013
Two men, including a member of the KKK, have been arrested after trying to build a portable X-ray machine to allegedly kill President Obama and Muslims.
Glendon Scott Crawford, 49, and Eric J. Feight have been charged with conspiracy to provide support to terrorists after allegedly creating a remote-controlled device that could emit lethal doses of radiation.
The men were caught after a year long undercover FBI operation, which began when members of a synagogue contacted the authorities to say they had been offered a device to kill “enemies of Israel.”
Charges: Glendon Crawford, seen at an Albany court last year, has been indicted for conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction
Lethal: The alleged plot involved remotely firing a death ray that would kill victims with radiation poisoning
According to the FBI Crawford said the potential targets for his device, which he described as “Hiroshima on a light switch” were a political figure and Muslims.
The political figure was identified as President Obama, sources close to the investigation told ABC News.
On the day of the Boston marathon bombings, Crawford allegedly sent a text message saying: “Obama’s policies caused this. He directed the [government] to start bringing [Muslims] here without background checks.”
He added: “They don’t have to follow any laws, and this administration has done more to enable a government sponsored invasion than the press can cover up.”
Crawford allegedly approached Jewish organizations to find people to help him with technology that could be used to surreptitiously deliver damaging doses of radiation.
Accomplice: Eric Feight faces charges of helping Crawford develop the device
Prosecutors said the industrial mechanic from Galway wanted the device to be used on unwitting victims and that they had scouted potential targets.
The laser was designed to be mounted on a truck and controlled remotely, according to the Jewish Press. The FBI said the device would have been fired through the truck’s cigarette lighter.
The victims would have been hit with a lethal dose of radiation that would kill them about two weeks later.
Crawford, who claimed he was part of the United Northern & Southern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, allegedly sought financing from the KKK in North Carolina, and approached Jewish organizations saying he wanted help targeting Muslims.
As he began his search for a source of radiation to use, he came into contact with two undercover FBI agents, who had received a tip off from two synagogues in Albany.
The men, who could face up to 15 years in prison, assembled the mobile device, which they said could be controlled remotely from up to half a mile away, but it was inoperable and nobody was hurt.
The damaging effects of the radiation would have appeared only days later, authorities said.
The investigation by the FBI in Albany and police agencies began in April 2012 after authorities received information that Crawford had approached a synagogue.
Death-ray terror plot
Crawford allegedly planned to turn an industrial-grade X-ray machine into a remote-controlled laser gun.
The laser gun would be mounted in a truck and driven to an area near the intended victims.
After parking the truck, the driver would leave the scene and activate the laser via a remote control from about half a mile away.
Everyone near the truck would receive a lethal dose of radiation and die within two weeks of the attack.
Crawford was arrested as he prepared to test the device, which the FBI says would have worked.
Rabbi Matthew Cutler, of Congregation Gates of Heaven in Schenectady, said a “strange man” came to the synagogue in April last year and said he had a device to protect the Jewish people, according to the Albany Times Union.
When staff at the synagogue told the man they were not interested, he asked for suggestions on what he could do with his creation.
“They had a hard time getting rid of him. He had this device, this plan on what to do,” Mr Cutler said.
In the FBI complaint, Crawford allegedly said: “Everything with respiration would be dead by the morning,” adding: “How much sweeter could there be than a big stack of smelly bodies?”
Feight, who works for an electronics company in Columbia County, is accused of agreeing to help Crawford construct the electronic controls for the device.
In December, agents were given permission to monitor Crawford and Feight’s cell phones and emails.
Although Crawford had not found a radiation supply for the device, it was capable of being operated remotely.
Plot: Glendon Crawford, who lived at this Galway house in New York, was arrested by the FBI in June last year
The men were arrested on Tuesday, after having a meeting on June 12, monitored by undercover informants posing as members of the KKK interested in purchasing the device and financing the project, where they discussed testing a fully working version of the device.
Crawford has been suspended from his job at General Electrical. A spokesman for the company said: “We have no reason to believe the act took place on GE property nor is there any information indicating that our employees’ safety was ever compromised.”
“This case demonstrates how we must remain vigilant to detect and stop potential terrorists, who so often harbor hatred toward people they deem undesirable,” U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian told NBC 4.