Glendon Scott Crawford, a 51-year-old resident of Galway, New York, was convicted by a federal jury Friday for plotting to acquire a weapon of mass destruction to target Muslims. Crawford, whose sentencing is due on Dec. 15, faces a mandatory minimum of 25 years to life in prison and a $2 million fine.
“Glendon Scott Crawford, a self-professed member of the Ku Klux Klan, was convicted of offenses relating to his deadly plan to use a radiological dispersal device to target unsuspecting Muslim Americans with lethal doses of radiation,” Assistant Attorney General John P. Carlin said, in a statement released Friday.
According to the FBI, law enforcement agencies first received information about Crawford’s plans in April 2012 when he approached local Jewish organizations to acquire a mobile X-ray device to use against perceived “enemies of Israel.” During a 14-month investigation, the FBI found that Crawford -- employed as an industrial mechanic at General Electric in Schenectady, New York -- was attempting to design, build and test a remote initiation device that could have activated the radiation machine.
Crawford was allegedly planning to place the device within a van or truck, park the vehicle near the entrance of the target location, and then remotely activate it so that it would direct lethal doses of radiation at people coming in and out of the target location.
According to the FBI, Crawford mentioned local mosques and an Islamic community center and school in Schenectady as possible targets. He also suggested targeting the New York governor’s mansion.
“Mr. Crawford hated Muslims and other politically liberal people,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Belliss reportedly told the jurors, replaying secretly taped conversations between Crawford and an FBI informant in which the former called Islam “an opportunist infection of the DNA.”