Federal prosecutors moved forward with a terrorism case against a purported Klansman who had been soliciting money from Jewish businessmen to build a bizarre — but technologically feasible — X-ray cannon intended to secretly kill Muslims.
Eric J. Feight, 55 pleaded guilty Wednesday to domestic terrorism-related charges in a federal courtroom in Albany, N.Y., and faces up to 15 years in prison. His alleged co-conspirator, Glendon Scott Crawford, 49, pleaded not guilty to the charges Wednesday after being indicted on three federal felony counts. The indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Albany, New York last week charged Crawford with attempting to produce and use a radiological dispersal device, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, and distributing information relating to weapons of mass destruction,
The Times-Union of Albany reported that Feight and his lawyers may seek a plea agreement in exchange for testimony against Crawford.
Investigators began looking at Crawford in April 2012, after the self-described Klansman approached a Schenectady synagogue, looking for financial support to build the radiation device.
“Crawford planned to create a mobile, remotely operated, radiation-emitting device capable of killing people silently from a distance with lethal doses of ionizing radiation,” according to the indictment. “Crawford’s intended targets were Muslims, Muslim-related organizations and persons Crawford believed were contributing to the demise of the United States.”
Crawford struck out in New York, then went to North Carolina looking for backing. The FBI had been tracking him at this point, notes the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Crawford “described to the [undercover FBI agents] his radiation emitting device, his remote initiation device, mobilizing the radiation device and discussed operation security concerns,” a criminal complaint filed last June said. “Crawford again solicited money to finance his scheme (primarily to fund the purchase or acquisition of an industrial strength x-ray system).”