Glendon Scott Crawford, 49, has been arrested by the FBI on charges of trying to sell an X-ray weapon to Jewish groups in upstate New York. According to reports, Crawford is a member of the Ku Klux Klan, not a group usually friendly to Jews.
He was arresed Tuesday, and the charges unsealed Wednesday.
Crawford worked as a mechanic for General Electric in Albany and was allegedly shopping a deadly X-ray gun along with his colleague Eric Feight, 54, reports the Times Union. The two men were arrested by the Albany FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, according to unsealed FBI documents. The device, which Feight allegedly designed, could be mounted on a truck and supposedly deliver doses of radiation. It was meant to be a silent killer with intended targets succumbing to the effects of radiation poisoning.
Crawford’s device was never built, but he had been discussing the acquisition of radioactive material, such as X-ray tubes, with an undercover FBI agent, reports the Times Union. The FBI’s investigation began in April 2012 when Crawford visited a local synagogue to discuss a weapon that could “be used by Israel to defeat its enemies, specifically, by killing Israel's enemies while they slept,” and later that day he gave an Albany Jewish group a similar proposal, according to court documents obtained by the Times Union.
The FBI was tipped off after a member of the synagogue contacted police. According to Department of Justice documents, “This was an undercover investigation and, unbeknownst to the defendants, the device that the defendants designed and intended to use was rendered inoperable at all times and posed no danger to the public,” reports Gothamist.
Crawford first met with a FBI agent on June 5, 2012, reports the Times Union. At the restaurant, Crawford discussed the desire to stop those he believed were his enemies. Later phone calls had Crawford identify himself as a member of “the United Northern & Southern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.”
The unsealed complaint continues, “Beginning in at least April of 2012, Crawford actively solicited individuals and groups to finance his acquisition of a sufficiently powerful X-ray system to carry out his scheme. After several unsuccessful solicitations, Crawford soon found two groups with the apparent means and ability to get for him the type of X-ray system he wanted for his scheme.”
After the failed attempts to broker a deal with Jewish organizations, Crawford allegedly drove to North Carolina to discuss a possible deal with the KKK. The plot was foiled each step of the way as Crawford’s plans were shared with the FBI and the bureau set up different meetings with undercover agents.
After the failed meetings, Crawford discussed his plans with Feight, who designed a remote starter, powered by a plug-in cigarette lighter typically found in a car. He was aware of Crawford’s terror plot, says the FBI. Crawford and Feight were charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and could face a maximum of 15 years in jail, with a possible fine of $250,000, if convicted.
Speaking about the arrest, U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian, said, “This case demonstrates how we must remain vigilant to detect and stop potential terrorists, who so often harbor hatred toward people they deem undesirable. We give special thanks to those who quickly alerted law enforcement authorities to this devious plan. I also commend the members of the Albany FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force for their unwavering commitment over the past 14 months to uncover the details of this plot, before anyone could be harmed bringing about today’s arrests.”