The FBI has arrested two men, Glen Crawford, 49, and Eric Feight, 54, for attempting to assemble a lethal X-ray weapon that can emit lethal doses of radiation for the purpose of killing Muslims and "other enemies of Israel," including President Obama.
According to a court affidavit that gives details of the almost incredible plot, Crawford, a GE Schenectady industrial mechanic, reportedly a member of the United Northern and Southern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, traveled to North Carolina in October to solicit money to build the weapon from a senior member of the Ku Klux Klan who promptly informed the FBI. But Crawford successfully recruited Eric J. Feight, 54, of Hudson, N.Y., a GE contractor with mechanical and engineering skiils.
Both men were arrested on Tuesday by undercover FBI agents who approached them posing as KKK members interested in buying the weapon.
According to AP, investigator Geoffrey Kent said in a court affidavit that Glendon Scott Crawford of Galway, N.Y., had specifically mentioned President Obama and Muslims as targets.
The FBI said Crawford, who blamed President Obama for the recent Boston Bombings, wrote in a text message on April 15, after the Boston Marathon bombing, that "Obama's policies caused this." He wrote that Obama "directed the [government] to start bringing [Muslims] here without background checks. They don't have to follow any laws, and this administration has done more to enable a government sponsored invasion than the press can cover up."
In a conversation, Crawford reportedly railed against Obama, describing him as "your treasonness bedwetting maggot in chief."
In an email, he accused Obama of "bringing the scumbags [here] wholesale as he got in charge. He directed the INS [a former US immigration agency] to start bringing the muzzies [Muslims] here without background checks."
According to the court affidavit, Crawford spent several months researching into the design and construction of an X-ray weapon capable of emitting lethal doses of radiation that silently targets victims who would be unaware they have absorbed lethal doses of radiation until several days after.
According to a statement by the US Department of Justice: "The defendants plotted to use this device against unwitting victims who would not immediately be aware that they had absorbed lethal doses of radiation, the harmful effects of which would only appear days after the exposure."
The X-ray weapon was designed to be operated remotely using a cigarette lighter. The men planned to mount the weapon in a truck.
Crawford obtained the parts necessary to build the weapon from undercover agents who brought him X-ray tubes and gave him technical specifications. The undercover agents also gave the men $1,000 to build a control device.
According to ABC News, FBI experts said the weapon, which Crawford called the "Hiroshima on a light switch," would have been "functional" and "lethal."
The Guardian, however, reports that when Crawford and Feight assembled the weapon they found it was inoperable.
Gizmodo notes that it is uncertain that the sort of radiation gun the men planned to build is feasible.
According to the FBI, investigations into Crawford's activities began in April 2012 after he walked into a synagogue in Albany, N.Y., soliciting for funds and making inquires about technology that could kill "Israel's enemy while they slept."
Members of synagogue reported to the police and the FBI arranged for undercover agents to track him. In December, investigators obtained a court order to tap Crawford's phones and secretly record meetings and conversations.
According to ABC News, Crawford and Feight, who used the codenames Dmitry and Yoda respectively, planned to set up the weapon for testing on Tuesday on GE facility where FBI agents arrested them.
A GE spokesman Shaun Wiggins, said the company learned about the incident on Tuesday and that Crawford has been fired. The company said it was not aware that its facility was being used for such illegal activities.
Jim Healy, the company communications director, said: "We are cooperating fully with authorities on their investigation."
Federal authorities charged the men, who reportedly sought to sell the weapon to a Jewish organization or the KKK, with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists through a plan to build and detonate a weapon of mass destruction.
The US Attorney Richard Hartunian, said "This case demonstrates how we must remain vigilant to detect and stop potential terrorists, who so often harbor hatred toward people they deem undesirable."
AP reports the men appeared separately in a federal court on Wednesday and are being held until detention hearings commence on Thursday.
They face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty.