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:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.


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