NEW YORK (CNN) — Two men have been charged in the Albany, New York, area in a bizarre plan to use a device loosely described as a ray gun to “target people they didn’t like,” a federal law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation said Wednesday.
Glendon Scott Crawford, 49, and Eric J. Feight, 54, were arrested Tuesday after an undercover operation by the Albany FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. They were charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.
The suspects intended to use the device to harm and kill enemies of Israel, a Department of Justice news release said. If convicted, each faces up to 15 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and five years of supervised release.
The suspects, expected to appear in federal court Wednesday, apparently planned to use the homemade X-ray machine to attack high-ranking government officials and other targets with radiation, the source said.
They do not appear to belong to any terror group or subscribe to any particular ideology, the source said.
The public was never in any danger, the source said. The device created by the defendants was deemed inoperable and not a threat to the public.
Beginning in April 2012, authorities received information that Crawford was searching for people at local Jewish organizations to help him build a device capable of killing human targets silently from a distance, according to a criminal complaint.
“This investigation revealed unthinkable plotting and planning of terrorist activity that targeted unsuspecting innocent citizens,” New York State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico said in a news release. “We remain committed to ensuring the safety of all citizens and will work diligently to identify these types of threats and stop those who seek to cause harm.”
CBS 6 Albany reports that GE released this statement regarding the arrest of their employee: “On Tuesday afternoon, the FBI informed GE that Glendon Scott Crawford, a GE manufacturing employee, was arrested for a criminal act. 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. Since this incident, Mr. Crawford has been suspended. We are cooperating fully with authorities on their investigation.”
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The-CNN-Wire/Atlanta/ contributed to this report.