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2 Men Intended X-ray Weapon To Kill Muslims

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Have you heard about the two guys in New York who were arrested for trying to build a battery-powered portable X-ray weapon carried in a van and operated by remote control to kill Muslims?

No, it’s not a joke. U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian of the Northern District of New York issued a news release on Wednesday about the arrests the previous day of Glendon Scott Crawford, 49, of Galway, New York, and Eric J. Feight, 54, of Hudson, New York.

Crawford worked in manufacturing at General Electric in Schenectady, New York, according to the Times Union newspaper of Albany, New York. GE suspended him after the arrest. Feight apparently worked in industrial automation and was a GE vendor, although at the time of his arrest he reportedly also was employed at a quarry.

Crawford was to design and build the radiation device—a modified industrial X-ray machine—and its power supply, a 2,000-watt battery. Feight was to create a remote electronic trigger. An FBI affidavit indicates that up to eight other people may have helped, including a fellow GE employee.

Other conspirators who helped Crawford and Feight acquire equipment were actually government informants who made sure the device could not produce radiation, according to authorities. Nevertheless, Crawford had assembled and begun testing the equipment, which he described as “Hiroshima on a light switch.” The UK newspaper the Telegraph reported that one target was President Obama.

At a hearing on Thursday, Crawford’s attorney, Kevin Luibrand, disputed the government’s claims that his client could have created a working X-ray weapon:

He’s a high school graduate and a car mechanic. He’s not capable of creating ions that could kill people.

Luibrand was quoted in the Saratogian newspaper of Saratoga Springs, New York. Prosecutor John Duncan countered that FBI-consulted experts “confirmed that these devices and their systems would be deadly if they were assembled as these defendants had intended.” The judge ordered both defendants held without bail.

Radiation safety experts contacted by the Associated Press sided with Crawford’s lawyer. They said such a device would require much more electricity than a battery could supply, would be too heavy for most vans, and would depend on victims staying still for long periods of time in order to receive a lethal dose of radiation. “It’s the stuff of comic books,” said Frederic Mis, PhD, radiation safety officer at the University of Rochester in New York.

Authorities say Crawford sought funding from a synagogoe and the Ku Klux Klan, according to the New York Times. Both the synagogue and the Klan declined and reported the contact to authorities.

When your ideas are too crazy for the KKK, perhaps you ought to rethink things. Unfortunately, where these two guys are concerned, thinking doesn’t seem to be a strong point.

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