On June 19, federal prosecutors charged a Tea Party Klansman and his cohort in a plot so bizarre it could’ve been ripped from the pages of a comic book. The two upstate New York men were arrested on terrorism charges for trying to build a mobile death ray to kill Muslims.
Glendon Scott Crawford, 49, of Galway, and Eric J. Feight, 54, of Hudson, were charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorist use of a weapon of mass destruction, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.
Crawford, an industrial mechanic with General Electric, claimed the “Hiroshima on a light switch” device could fit in a van, be triggered remotely and deliver lethal doses of ionizing radiation that would kill its targets as they slept, according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court. Feight, a computer software expert who knew Crawford from his time as an outside contractor for GE, allegedly designed and built the remote control for the weapon.
The plot began in April 2012, when Crawford went to an Albany-area synagogue and contacted a local Jewish organization “seeking out individuals who might offer assistance in helping him with a type of technology that could be used against people he perceived as enemies of Israel” and the United States. He called these perceived enemies and Muslims “medical waste” and “scumbags.” After the meetings, authorities were contacted and an investigation opened.
In August 2012, Crawford, a self-described member of the United Northern & Southern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, travelled to North Carolina to meet with “an individual who is believed to be a ranking member of the Ku Klux Klan.” At the meeting, Crawford described the weapon, “presented his scheme to this official of the KKK, and solicited funds from the KKK,” according to the complaint. Several weeks later he travelled again to North Carolina to meet with and solicit two individuals introduced as “as Southern businessmen of means who were associated with the KKK.”
In addition to membership in the Ku Klux Klan, Crawford was also listed as the “coordinator” for a local chapter of the Tea Party Patriots, called Americans Demanding Liberty and Freedom. The Galway, New York group was formed in April 2009, during the early days of Tea Party activity. According to the ADLF page on the Tea Party Patriots website, the group is “Devoted to restoring the Constitution as the law of the land by electing a government that will work for the PEOPLE to restore Americas freedoms, economic security, and soveriegnty.[sic]”
At the time of his arrest, Crawford was also listed as a member of FreedomWorks. He joined the Tea Party faction’s FreedomConnector site in July 2010, and had been using it to network with other groups in the area, like the Saratoga County Constitutionalists and the Upstate Conservative Coalition.
At a November meeting at a coffee house near Albany, two undercover FBI agents met with Crawford and Feight to finalize the plot. They named their little group, “the Guild.” The two conspirators even gave themselves codenames, Crawford taking “Dmitri,” and Feight going by “Yoda.” One of the FBI agents gave Feight $1000 for materials, who in turn gave the money to Crawford.
Shortly after the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, Crawford ratcheted up his rhetoric. He sent a series of text messages to a confidant, railing against President Obama and Muslims,
Tell it to your treasonous bedwetting maggot in chief. He started bringing the scumbags have wholesale as he got in charge. He directed the ins to start bringing muzzies here without background checks. Your background was scrutinized more to join the army than any muslim scum gets to come here. 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. Be pissed, but get the word out that obamas policies caused this. You watch, they will downplay the muslim angle if they dont cover it up. Be pissed. I am too. I been warning this was coming. Its here. [sic]
The scheme intensified after that. On May 20, Feight and Crawford allegedly met at a hotel near the Capital District in Albany to test the range of the remote control. Crawford and an undercover agent drove around for twenty minutes to find that the range of the device was roughly 4/10 of a mile. Crawford then sent a text message to Feight reporting the successful testing of the remote initiation device.
The plan came to an end when authorities swept in on 18 June, as the two were planning the final steps to connect the remote initiation device to the x-ray system’s control panel.
The New York caper is the latest arrest of Tea Party Aryan-types. AS IREHR reported last August, a Virginia Tea Party activist and self-described “100% Aryan” plead guilty to weapons charges. The investigation revealed a trail of racism and alleged threats against President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder.