The indictment charged 49-year-old Glendon Scott Crawford of Galway, NY, and 54-year-old Eric J. Feight of Hudson, NY, with conspiracy to provide support to terrorists with the weapon.
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Investigators said Crawford approached Jewish organizations last year looking for funding and people to help him with technology that could be used to surreptitiously deliver damaging and even lethal doses of radiation against those he considered enemies of Israel.
He and Feight assembled the mobile device, which was to be controlled remotely, but it was inoperable and nobody was hurt, authorities said.
"Crawford has specifically identified Muslims and several other individuals/groups as targets," investigator Geoffrey Kent said in a court affidavit.
Crawford claimed to be a member. Both men are being held pending hearings and face up to 15 years in prison. Crawford, an industrial mechanic for General Electric, knew Feight, an outside GE contractor with mechanical and engineering skills, through work, authorities said.
Feight designed, built, and tested the remote control, which they planned to use to operate an industrial X-ray system mounted on a truck.
According to the indictment, the investigators had a confidential undercover source in place within weeks after learning of Crawford's attempts to solicit money and later an undercover investigator introduced by the source. They recorded meetings and conversations, and in December investigators got court authorization to tap Crawford's phones, the indictment said.
Last June, the undercover investigator brought Crawford X-ray tubes to examine for possible use in the weapon, followed by their technical specifications a month later. At a November meeting with undercover investigators, Crawford brought Feight, both said they were committed to building the device and named the group "the guild," the indictment said.
Investigators gave Feight $1,000 to build the control device and showed the men pictures of industrial X-ray machines they said they could obtain. They planned to provide him access to an actual X-ray system to assembly with the remote control Tuesday.
According to court documents, the sealed indictment was filed the same day and both men were arrested.
GE spokesman Shaun Wiggins said they were informed Tuesday of Crawford's arrest and he has been suspended from his job. They have no information that any employees' safety was compromised or the act he's accused of occurred there.
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