Feds nab KKK member, accomplice for lethal X-ray plot

Story highlights

  • FBI: N.Y. state men developed X-ray system capable of emitting deadly radiation
  • The men were charged with conspiracy to provide support for the use of a WMD
  • One man, a member of the KKK, said he would use the device to kill Muslims
Two New York state men have been charged in a bizarre plan to develop a mobile X-ray system that would be used from afar to silently kill people that they deemed "undesirable," federal officials said.
Glendon Scott Crawford, 49, and Eric J. Feight, 54, were arrested Tuesday after an undercover operation by the Albany FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. They were charged with conspiracy to provide material support for use of a weapon of mass destruction, according to the criminal complaint.
Crawford and Feight were developing a device "intended to be mobile ... designed to turn on remotely from some distance away" that would emit "some dangerous levels of X-ray radiation," according to John Duncan, executive assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of New York.
Individuals who might have been "subject to this X-ray radiation, would not immediately know that they had been harmed until some days later when they would either be injured, or it could result in their death," he said.
The suspects intended to use the device to harm and kill "enemies of Israel," a Department of Justice news release said.
Undercover agents allegedly heard Crawford, a self-described member of the Ku Klux Klan, state that he "harbors animosity towards individuals and groups that he perceives as hostile to the interests of the United States" and refers to them as "medical waste." He specifically identified Muslims as belonging to this group, according to the criminal complaint.
Crawford and Feight appeared in court Wednesday. If convicted, each faces up to 15 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and five years of supervised release.
Feight appeared with a lawyer, while the judge appointed one for Crawford. CNN attempted to contact the attorneys late Wednesday but was unsuccessful.
Though the device had extraordinary potential for harm, the public was not in danger because of the early involvement of authorities, Duncan said.
Andrew St. John, a friend of Feight's for 30 years, called Feight a "pacifist" and a "smart guy."
Crawford, a manufacturing employee at a GE plant in Schenectady, New York, worked with Feight, an employee at a nearby automotive company often contracted by GE, according to the investigation report. The automotive company did not comment.
Since the arrest, Crawford has been suspended from the company, which is fully cooperating with authorities, according to G