A U.S. mechanic has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for trying to produce a weapon of mass destruction to kill Muslims.
The U.S. Justice Department described Glendon Crawford of upstate New York as a self-professed member of the Ku Klux Klan.
Crawford was convicted in August 2015 of conspiring with another man to build a weapon that would disperse radiation.
“Crawford planned to kill Muslims on account of their religion and other people whose political and social beliefs he disagreed with, including government officials,” said attorney Richard Hartunian. “This is a classic case of domestic terrorism,” he said.
Sought help from KKK
Crawford is the first person to be convicted under a 2004 law intended to stop terrorists from using radiation dispersing “dirty bombs.”
Prosecutors said Crawford approached Jewish groups seeking financial support for his plan to acquire a radiation device to be used against people he described as “enemies of Israel.” They say he also solicited funding for his plan from senior members of the Ku Klux Klan.
The Justice Department alleges that Crawford, along with a co-conspirator, Eric Feight, took steps to design, build and test a remote-controlled unit that could activate a radiation dispersal device from a distance. Prosecutors say Crawford later received a radiation dispersal device from people he believed were businessmen affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan, but were actually FBI special agents working undercover.
Claim of entrapment
Lawyers for Crawford argued at his trial that Crawford was entrapped by the government. They say the radiation device was constructed by federal agents and say Crawford never intended to use it.
Feight pleaded guilty in connection with the case and was sentenced to eight years and one month in prison.