recommended reading

Prosecutors Move to Restrict Access to 'Death Ray' Designs

Elena Yakusheva/

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.

(Image via Elena Yakusheva/

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.