Glendon Scott Crawford, a GE industrial mechanic, and Eric J. Feight, a GE contractor, managed to assemble a van-mounted X-ray weapon in their quest to "kill Israel's enemies while they slept."
The men were arrested Tuesday after an undercover operation by the Albany FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. They were charged with conspiracy to provide material support for use of a weapon of mass destruction, and face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
The remotely-operated device emitted lethal doses of X-ray radiation capable of killing targeted individuals "who would not immediately be aware that they had absorbed lethal doses of radiation, the harmful effects of which would only appear days after the exposure," according to a Department of Justice statement.
Undercover agents rendered the device inoperable at all times, and it posed no danger to the public, though the assailants-to-be allegedly hadn't obtained a radiation source.
Undercover agents allegedly heard Crawford, a self-described member of the Ku Klux Klan, state that he "harbors animosity towards individuals and groups that he perceives as hostile to the interests of the United States" and refers to them as "medical waste." Crawford identified Muslims as belonging to the target community, according to the complaint.
The X-ray weapon, powered by a cigarette lighter, was described by Crawford as "Hiroshima on a light switch." He said that "everything with respiration would be dead by the morning."
In October, Crawford traveled to North Carolina to meet with a high-ranking KKK official and two businessmen affiliates, who were working with the FBI, to discuss his device and raise money.
Freight was recruited to develop the "remote initiation" device that would allow it to be mobile in a truck or van.
"When I started seeing how things, the direction things were going ... after the elections," Feight said, "You know, the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
GE spokesman Shaun Wiggins said Crawford has been suspended. "We have no reason to believe the act took place on GE property, nor is there any information indicating that our employees' safety was ever compromised," he said.
The FBI's investigation began in April 2012 after, Crawford went to a number of synagogues and asked to speak with people "willing to help him with a type of technology that could be used by Israel to defeat its enemies, specifically, by killing Israel's enemies while they slept."