An attorney wants charges to be dismissed against a Ku Klux Klan member accused of plotting to build a death ray to kill Muslims, arguing that his client was too poor to be a terrorist.
Glendon Crawford was indicted last year on federal terrorism charges after prosecutors said he attempted to make a radiological dispersal device and conspired to use a weapon of mass destruction, reported the Saratogian.
The 50-year-old Crawford, an admitted conspiracy theorist and KKK member, pleaded not guilty last year to three felony counts, although his alleged co-conspirator, 56-year-old Eric Feight, reached a plea agreement in January 2014 on terrorism-related charges.
Crawford’s attorney, Kevin Luibrand, filed a motion Monday claiming his client and Feight were lured into a sting by government agents who violated their civil rights.
Federal authorities say Crawford, of Hudson, New York, designed a device capable of targeting people with lethal doses of X-ray radiation, but Luibrand argued that government agents instigated, funded, and planned the plot.
The motion claims Crawford approached U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson, a New York Republican, along with a Schenectady synagogue and the Israeli Embassy with his idea to use radiation strong enough to cause illness, which the attorney said his clients learned from high-school level materials found online.
“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,” the indictment alleges. “Crawford’s intended targets were Muslims, Muslim-related organizations and persons Crawford believed were contributing to the demise of the United States.”
But his lawyer argued the former General Electric mechanic didn’t have enough money to carry out any terror plots.
“(Crawford sought funding for) what he believed was a never-before-considered idea — an idea only — to use on Islamic terrorists,” Luibrand argued. “Until his path crossed that of the government, he had never had a device or money or motivation to become involved in an actual device.”
Crawford is due to stand trial in August, and Feight faces up to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to providing material to terrorists.