Albany, NY, United States (4E) – A General Electric mechanic and an electronics firm employee have been arrested and charged in Albany with conspiracy to support terrorists and use a weapons of mass destruction for building and trying to sell a radiation-emitting device to kill people.
A federal complaint unsealed on Wednesday identified the suspected conspirators as Glendon Scott Crawford, 49, of Galway and Eric J. Feight, 54, of Hudson.
The complaint described Crawford’s weapon as can be placed in the back of a van to covertly emit ionizing radiation to sicken or kill the target person. Feight, who works for a manufacturer of electronic control devices in Columbia County, agreed to help Crawford construct the electronic control of the device. The weapon was not completed as Crawford failed to obtain a radiation material.
Crawford’s plot was discovered after he visited an Albany synagogue and called a Jewish organization in April 2012 to ask if someone is interested to help him develop a weapon that Israel can use to kill its enemies while they sleep. Someone at the synagogue alerted the police, which in turn reported it to the FBI. A Joint Terrorism Task Force then started investigating by sending an undercover FBI agent to act as interested in the weapon and by recording Crawford’s phone calls.
The FBI agent met and talked with Crawford at a Scotia restaurant a year ago and learned that he is a member of the United Northern & Southern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Crawford told the agent he will build a powerful industrial x-ray machine powered by batteries and source the needed x-ray tubes from a metal shop.
Crawford recruited Feight to assist him design and build the device.
In December, the FBI obtained a warrant to monitor Crawford’s phone calls, e-mails and text messages to Feight. Feight delivered the remote control device to Crawford on May 20 in Albany. They later tested the device, which can be triggered from half a mile away.
Undercover informants met with the suspects on June 12 and pretended to be South Carolina Ku Klux Klan members interested to buy and finance the completion of the weapon. The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested Crawford and Feight on Tuesday.