What do the South Carolina Ku Klux Klan and two upstate New York synagogues have in common? (Besides great potlucks, heh heh!) According to a federal complaint, both were thought of as potential buyers for a "Hiroshima on a light switch" designed by a GE mechanic.

Glendon Scott Crawford, 49, of Galway, N.Y., was arrested on Tuesday by the FBI for allegedly trying to sell a radiation weapon of his own design, first to two synagogues (for use against "Israel's enemies") and then to FBI informants posing as members of the South Carolina Klan, the Albany Times-Union writes:

The investigation broke open in April 2012 when Crawford allegedly went into an Albany synagogue and "asked to speak with a person who might be 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," the complaint says. He referred to Muslims and enemies of the United States as "medical waste," according to court records. [...]

During the meeting [with an FBI informant] at the restaurant, Crawford described his plan to purchase or construct a powerful industrial x-ray machine that would be powered by batteries. The plan included an attempt by Crawford to find part-time work in a metal shop where he would have access to x-ray tubes, the complaint states.

"Crawford also told the (source) that the target of his radiation emitting device would be the Muslim community," the complaint states. "Crawford described the device's capabilities as 'Hiroshima on a light switch' and that 'everything with respiration would be dead by the morning.'"

Crawford, who built the device itself while his alleged co-conspirator and former coworker Eric J. Feight, 54, built its remote controls, apparently never got his hands on the actual radioactive material. Both men have been charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, including use of a weapon of mass destruction.

[image of Geiger counter via Shutterstock]