White Supremacist Planned to Use 'Death Ray' to Murder Obama, Muslims
A white supremacist who planned to build a “death ray” to kill Muslims and President Barack Obama has been sentenced to 30 years behind bars by a New York District Court Judge. Glendon Scott Crawford, an industrial mechanic and self-identified Ku Klux Klan member, repeatedly stated the weapon was part of an effort to “take his country back,” according to filings by federal prosecutors. According to the undercover law enforcement officers with whom he unwittingly plotted, Crawford’s plan might have worked had the FBI not gotten wind of it.
From August 2012 to June 2013, Crawford conspired to convert an X-ray machine into a “death ray gun” that would emit massive, lethal amounts of radiation. The machine would be mounted on a truck that could be driven to sites with high concentrations of Muslim people, where it would be parked. The weapon would be activated via remote control, exposing targets to levels of radiation that would kill them within two weeks of exposure.
According to the Washington Post, Crawford initially took his ideas to two local Jewish organization, proposing his device could used to kill enemies of Israel. He had hoped that by sharing his plan, the groups might offer the financial backing to help build his diabolical machine. Instead, someone affiliated with a synagogue reached out to the FBI, which immediately began an investigation. According to court records, Crawford also attempted to reach European defense leagues to spread the word about his plans.
In numerous recordings presented to the court, Crawford railed against Muslims, President Obama and other entities he believed opposed his vision of the country. “We all would like our country restored to what it was,' Crawford stated in a recording quoted by the U.K.'s Daily Mail. “And the vast majority of Americans would, too.”
He reportedly referred to Muslims as “medical waste,” and said his killing machine would be like “Hiroshima on a light switch” that would kill “everything with respiration,” according to the Post.
“How much sweeter could there be than a big stack of smelly bodies?” Crawford asked.
He was unaware that his co-conspirators were actually FBI agents. He also recruited a fellow KKK member who was secretly working with law enforcement. Eric Feight, who was in cahoots with Crawford on his death ray plan, was sentenced to eight years in prison last year.
The Post reports that Crawford scouted a number of potential targets, including mosques in upstate New York as well as the governor’s mansion. The list included an Islamic community center and school, which means Crawford planned to murder children as well as adults.
“His plot to murder people he did not know was designed to, in his oft-repeated words, ‘take his country back’ from government leaders by forcing them to change government conduct he perceived as favoring Muslims,” prosecutors wrote in a court filing.
Crawford was given the opportunity to ask the court for mercy in sentencing. He instead offered a rambling “criticism of U.S. immigration policy regarding Muslims,” according to the Daily Mail.
U.S. District Judge Gary L. Sharpe finally interrupted to make an observation. “This conduct is bizarre,” Sharpe reportedly told the defendant. “You are bizarre.”
“This case shows both the dangers we face from extremist views, and our resolve to stop those who plan to act on those views,” U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian wrote in a statement.
Crawford, a Navy veteran, is the first person to be convicted for attempting to possess and use a radiological dispersal device, which was outlawed under a 2004 congressional statute banning “dirty bombs.”