Glendon Scott Crawford, 52, is a resident of Galway, New York and a member of the white supremacist group Ku Klux Klan. Recently, he was sentenced 30 years in prison for planning to kill Muslims with a so-called X-ray gun.
With this, Crawford earns the dubious distinction of being the first person to be found guilty of violating the law against radiological dispersal devices (RDD) which are also known as “dirty bombs.”
Glendon Scott Crawford planned to load the X-ray gun on a van.
The law against so-called “dirty bombs” was passed by the U.S. Congress in 2004. They earned their nickname because they contaminate the area where they are dispersed with radioactive material. Thus, rendering it “dirty.”
Crawford’s crazy plan was hatched several years ago.
According to a report by Kristine Guerra in The Washington Post, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) got a tip about Crawford — who works as an industrial mechanic — in April 2012. They were told that he was “a self-professed member of the Ku Klux Klan” who was planning to build an X-ray gun that he said he would to use to kill Muslims.
This was how Crawford envisioned his X-ray gun's mechanism.
Apparently, Crawford had approached two Jewish organizations and sought their help in financing his X-ray gun project. He referred to it as “Hiroshima on a light switch.” Fortunately, someone from one of the Jewish institutions alerted the FBI.
The FBI confirmed that Crawford was, indeed, designing and buying parts for his device. They also found out that he was already checking out mosques, an Islamic community center, and a school as possible targets. Investigators quoted Crawford’s boast about his X-ray gun’s capacity for destruction.
“Everything with respiration would be dead by the morning. How much sweeter could there be than a big stack of smelly bodies?”
Eric Feight, 54, was sentenced to 8 years in jail for helping Crawford.
Crawford didn’t know that from August 2012 to June 2013, he was actually being investigated by undercover law enforcement officers. In fact, one Ku Klux Klan leader whose help he enlisted was actually helping out the investigators.
Once they had enough evidence, the investigators placed Crawford under arrest.
The people who knew Crawford didn’t seem surprised by his arrest. They had described him as a combination of “Darth Vader, an intergalactic mass murderer, and Forrest Gump.”
Watch: FBI undercover video clips of Crawford’s dangerous project.
Crawford was considered dangerous because of his extremist views, but he was also foolish enough to divulge his plan to strangers.
Indeed, as U.S. attorney Richard S. Hartunian noted:
“This case shows both the dangers we face from extremist views, and our resolve to stop those who plan to act on those views. Crawford planned to kill Muslims on account of their religion and other people whose political and social beliefs he disagreed with, including government officials.”