Prosecutors Move to Restrict Access to ‘Death Ray’ Designs

Global Security Newswire Staff
March 21, 2014, 10:15 a.m.

Pro­sec­utors pushed to re­strict de­tails on what they called a deadly X-ray weapon, as its al­leged in­vent­or faces tri­al, the Schenectady Daily Gaz­ette re­ports.

Fed­er­al pro­sec­utors in New York urged a judge to place the weapon’s design un­der seal, lim­it­ing the cru­cial de­tails to par­ti­cipants in the tri­al of 49-year-old Glendon Scott Craw­ford, the news­pa­per re­por­ted on Thursday. The move may even re­strict dis­cus­sion of the weapon in court hear­ings, though some spe­cial­ists have ques­tioned the feas­ib­il­ity of the mo­bile gun said to be cap­able of pois­on­ing vic­tims with ra­di­ation rays.

“Lim­it­ing dis­sem­in­a­tion of de­tails of the weapon­ized, mo­bil­ized and re­motely con­trolled ra­di­ation-emit­ting device de­signed to kill or ser­i­ously in­jure un­sus­pect­ing hu­man tar­gets … has un­der­ly­ing reas­ons that are read­ily ap­par­ent — pro­tect­ing pub­lic safety and re­du­cing the like­li­hood of sim­il­ar at­tempts by oth­ers,” the U.S. At­tor­ney’s Of­fice said in a mo­tion filed with U.S. Dis­trict Court Judge Gary Sharpe.

Craw­ford’s tri­al is sched­uled to be­gin on April 29. An FBI sting net­ted the pos­sible Ku Klux Klan mem­ber, who al­legedly draf­ted a design and gathered com­pon­ents for a weapon be­lieved cap­able of harm­ing and pos­sibly killing its tar­gets.

Some ob­serv­ers, though, voiced skep­ti­cism about the use­ful­ness of a gun they said would have huge power re­quire­ments and a weight cap­able of smash­ing auto­mo­biles. In ad­di­tion, de­fense law­yers have con­ten­ded that neither Craw­ford nor Eric Feight, an al­leged co-con­spir­at­or, had the ex­pert know­ledge ne­ces­sary to cre­ate a vi­able X-ray gun.

Craw­ford faces charges of con­spir­acy to use a weapon of mass de­struc­tion, at­tempt­ing to pro­duce and use a ra­di­olo­gic­al dis­pers­al device, and dis­trib­ut­ing WMD in­form­a­tion. Feight pleaded guilty in Janu­ary and could re­ceive up to 15 years pris­on time in his May 22 sen­ten­cing.

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