Two Albany men have been arrested after trying to build a machine that would use X-rays to kill Muslims and other perceived enemies of the U.S. that the suspects referred to as “medical waste”, the Albany Times-Union reported Wednesday.
Federal prosecutors announced the arrest in documents Wednesday, sharing bizarre details of the scheme hatched by Glendon Scott Crawford, 49, and Eric J. Feight, 54, such as their nickname for the planned weapon: “Hiroshima on a light switch.”
Crawford, a mechanic employed by General Electric, was apparently a member of the Ku Klux Klan who had recruited Mr. Feight to help him construct the weapon. Feight, an employee of a local electronics company who also contracted for G.E., was responsible for building the electronics within the death ray.
The suspects planned to mount the weapon on the back of a truck and trigger it remotely, with the end result, according to court documents, of “killing Israel’s enemies while they slept.” While Feight successfully built and tested the triggering device, law-enforcement officials said that a continuing sting operation had monitored the project and that the two were never close to locating a source of radiation.
According to the Times-Union, Mr. Crawford also attempted to sell the unfinished device to a local synagogue. In April, Crawford reportedly approached Rabbi Matthew Cutler of the Gates of Heaven congregation hoping to sell him on the idea of using the machine against people Crawford called “muzzies” and “scumbags.” Confused, Mr. Cutler’s secretaries apparently told him to get in touch with the Jewish Federation of Northeast New York.
Shortly afterwards, the synagogue decided to call the police, at which point the FBI began monitoring Mr. Crawford. In May they obtained a search warrant to monitor Crawford’s communications, and in June, agents perpetrated a sting on both suspects, posing as members of the South Carolina Ku Klux Klan interested in financing the plot.
In a detail that is surprising given his lack of caution in other areas, Mr. Crawford apparently correctly suspected that he was being watched by law enforcement agencies. When speaking on the phone he would refer to himself as “Dmitri”, and Mr. Feight as “Yoda”.
Crawford’s neighbors painted a different picture of him on Wednesday afternoon. “His wife Angie is the nicest person. She’s a woman of God. Scott is the same way,” two women interviewed by the Times-Union said. The women identified themselves as parishioners in the same church that the Crawford’s attended.
Mr. Crawford appears to have harbored virulently angry emotions towards President Obama, referring to him as a “treasoness (sic) bedwetting maggot in chief,” in communications with Feight.
General Electric acknowledged their employee’s actions in a statement, saying Mr. Crawford had been suspended and that none of the criminal activities took place on company grounds.