Prosecutors Ask for Secrecy in Anti-Muslim “Death Ray” Case

Saturday, March 29, 2014
Glendon Scott Crawford (photo: Skip Dickstein, Albany Times Union, AP)

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York has asked that details about an alleged “death ray” weapon be kept secret while the man accused of building it stands trial.

 

Glendon Scott Crawford was arrested last June by federal agents for creating a mobile X-ray-based system to kill Muslims. Another man, Eric Feight, was also arrested in connection with the plot.

 

U.S. prosecutors have asked the presiding judge, Gary Sharpe, to issue a protective order that would seal all information about the device before and possibly during Crawford’s trial. The request for secrecy would also hide the identities of the undercover agents who spent a year investigating Crawford and Feight.

 

As for the death ray, prosecutors described it in their motion as a “weaponized, mobilized and remotely controlled radiation-emitting device designed to kill or seriously injure unsuspecting human targets.”

 

Crawford faces felony charges of 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. Feight has already pleaded guilty to one felony count of providing material support to terrorists by designing and building the remote control system for the device. He faces up to 15 years in prison

 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has portrayed Crawford, a former General Electric Co. industrial mechanic, as a member of the Ku Klux Klan who was bent on murdering Muslims.

 

Federal authorities got wind of his scheme after he approached Jewish organizations and a Klan organization in North Carolina about helping them eliminate enemies of Israel. The Jewish groups and the Klan alerted the FBI about Crawford.

 

Prosecutors insist the weapon was not a pipe dream, and that Crawford was powering it up last summer when agents stormed a garage in the village of Galway, north of Albany.

 

But some experts say Crawford’s device would not have worked, saying it would have required too much electricity and weighed too much to function as a lethal, mobile weapon.

-Noel Brinkerhoff

 

To Learn More:

Prosecutors Want Information Protected in Death Ray Case (by Justin Mason, Schenectady Daily Gazette)

Feds: 2 Upstate NY Men Tried To Make X-Ray Weapon (by Michael Virtanen, Associated Press)

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