OK, this one has gotten a lot of press, but none of the press makes sense. It sounds like Mel Brooks on mescaline. The USG alleges that the KKK guy came up with an idea to fry Moslems with radiation. Then he called an unnamed Jewish group to see if they could recommend a scientist or engineer to work on a weapon to “defend Israel.” By irradiating the ummah, which might be a good idea but turns out to violate a wide swath of Federal arms control and export laws. And the whole time they were working on their Death Ray, someone was facilitating their work in some way — and reporting to the FBI.
The news stories didn’t make sense, so we tried to round up the complaint, and wound up having to settle for the Press Release (pdf). Unfortunately, the terse release was entirely silent on the technical details of the Death Ray. (Conceptual illustration, right). And it just increased our already high puzzlement levels.
I mean, dogs and cats living together are one thing — we have it happening here, actually — but last time we checked the Klan was a bit nativist about the 12 Tribes of Israel. (Actually, after we got an unwelcome link from an extremist website, “whatreallyhappened” — no truth in advertising there — we got a bunch of unwelcome comments raving irrationally about teh Jooooz, which we dumped in the bit bucket after responding to the first). Not to get all political, but about the only place we can think of where Klansmen and pro-Israel Jews come together is on Obama’s enemies list. Which makes you wonder about the quality of this case.
Anyway, we found the press release, and it didn’t answer any of our questions. It was even vaguer than the new stories (so the media are making details up, or the USAO for the Northern District of New York fed them more than the press release — each story that has another detail, though, has a different one suggesting that they might be making these details up). The key grafs from the PR with some comments follow:
The arrests followed a lengthy investigation by the Albany FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force that began in April 2012 when authorities received information that [Glendon Scott] Crawford had approached local Jewish organizations 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.
Crawford is allegedly the Klan member. This request got the FBI interested, and meanwhile, an expert, Eric J. Feight, began helping Crawford, presumably as a result of the Jewish connection.
[T]he defendants’ scheme was the creation of a mobile, remotely operated, radiation emitting device capable of killing targeted individuals silently with lethal doses of X-ray radiation. The defendants plotted to use this device against unwitting victims 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. This was an undercover investigation and, unbeknownst to the defendants, the device that the defendants designed and intended to use was rendered inoperable at all times and posed no danger to the public.
There is an implied third person here, who was a cooperating witness for the FBI, and who seems to have been responsible for the sabotage of the “death ray”: “the device was rendered inoperable at all times.”
This press release made us really want to read the indictment, which doesn’t exist yet, or the complaint, which does, but isn’t readily accessible. (What imbecile designed PACER?) Anyway, we’re working on getting it.
This is only one example of the weird doings in the Northern District of New York. They busted a guy driving without a license after an accident. What’s weird about that, it happens every day? Just our wonderful diversity having the accidents the native-born aren’t having. But it turns out the accident was with a tugboat and the guy has been “driving” with a counterfeit merchant marine Master’s License. So far the courts have taken a much dimmer view than they do of the Dream Act “refugee” from Chiapas who ran from the scene of his third fatality DUI. Press release here (pdf).