An Upstate NY man was recently convicted by a federal court for building a "death ray" he planned to use to "massacre Muslims."
Step aside, Dr. Evil. Out of the way, Ernst Stavro Blofeld. There's a new (and much, much more sinister) mad scientist on the block now. The prison block, that is.
His name is Glendon Scott Crawford of Galway, NY, and he was just sentenced to 25 years in prison for trying to build a radiation-emitting "death ray"/dirty bomb to kill "enemies of Israel" and potentially president Obama.
This bizarre story all started back in 2012, when Crawford -- a self-described Klansmen and longtime mechanic of General Electric in Schenectady, NY -- entered the Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York, Congregation Gates of Heaven in Schenectady, and the Israeli Embassy in Washington seeking funding or connections from members to help him acquire a commercially available, industrial-grade X-ray device to kill "enemies of Israel." He was immediately reported to the FBI, who then sent two undercover agents to provide him with an (inoperable) ray he had been seeking.
What followed was a 14-month investigation that stretched from North Carolina to New York and concluded with a SWAT-backed sting operation.
According to prosecutors, Crawford first called a Ku Klux Klan hotline in 2012 to reach to Chris Barker, a North Carolina-based imperial wizard in the KKK. Barker, who was already facing unrelated criminal charges, refused to participate and pointed Crawford in the direction of two undercover agents posing as Klan-connected rock quarry businessmen with the funding to purchase the ray.
The ray itself was to be disguised in a van marked "Halal Meat" (a common food eaten by Muslims) and set off using a remote trigger designed by fellow GE mechanic and Crawford's co-conspirator, Eric J. Feight -- who later dropped out of the plan and plead guilty to lesser criminal charges. If successful, the death ray would have exposed the targets to fatal doses of radiation, killing them before they could ever determine the cause of their illness. The remote trigger was successfully tested on May 20th, 2013, and several meetings between Crawford and the agents (who he gave the code names "Daddy Warbucks" and "Robin Hood." Seriously.) followed to set the plan into motion.
"Experts have advised the investigation that the remote initiation device and X-ray systems Crawford plans to weaponize would produce a lethal, and functioning, remotely controlled radiation emitting device," said the FBI in the initial criminal complaint filed in June 2013.
"The plot was real here," said FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Andrew Vale to reporters. "No matter how extraordinary the plot seemed, the threat was real. ... I'd like to continue to urge the community to come forward whenever they have information and allow the actual law enforcement experts to make that determination of whether there is an actual threat there or not."
On June 18, 2013, Crawford met the agents in a warehouse in Schaghticoke where the device (codenamed: "baby") was being kept. Crawford was arrested by a swarm of SWAT team officers at the warehouse later that day.
It took the jury less than three hours to convict Crawford on all three counts he was facing, no doubt enabled by the FBI surveillance video Crawford was captured on with Google maps of targets for his radiation weapon that included the included Muslim community centers in Albany, Schenectady that Crawford had personally spotted, the Governor's Mansion in Albany, and even the White House. The prosecutors, in fact, showed the jury over 7 hours of similar surveillance video, most of which featured Crawford declaring the Muslim community "medical waste" that needed to be "sterilized" by the radiation weapon.
Crawford now faces a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison for "attempting to produce or use a radiological dispersal device," with the potential to receive life in prison at his sentencing on December 15th. His conviction is the first of its kind since a 2004 federal law was passed by Congress to protect the country against terrorist using "dirty bombs" and WMD's of the like.
Absolutely insane, and something that happened just a stone's throw away from where I grew up. It just goes to show that sometimes the darkest corners of humanity can be found in your own backyard.
Source: Times Union