Domestic Terror Story Gets Media Cold Shoulder–Guess Why

Glendon Scott Crawford in the Albany Times-Union

The Albany Times-Union’s photo of terror suspect Glendon Scott Crawford.

A sensational story of domestic terrorism is playing out in Albany, New York. Officials say two men–arraigned last June for terrorism charges, including conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction–planned to target Muslims with a diabolical weapon that would use high-powered X-rays to kill their victims silently and from a distance. Experts are divided on whether the device could have worked (Salon, 6/22/13; Huffington Post, 6/20/13), but officials assert that the suspects’ plot was well-advanced before it came to the attention of federal authorities.

Glendon Scott Crawford, a General Electric industrial mechanic, member of the Barkersville Christian Church and self-described Ku Klux Klan member, came up with the plan, according to investigators. He was shopping it in Upstate New York synagogues and Jewish organizations, they say, as a weapon that could be used by the Israeli government.

According to the indictment, Crawford met Eric Feight, an executive at an upstate industrial electronics firm, at a synagogue in Schenectady, N.Y., and the two decided to build the radiation weapon and use it on area Muslims. The conspiracy reportedly went awry when a North Carolina Klan official, whom Crawford and Feight allegedly approached for money, cooperated with federal investigators. Crawford took an undercover federal agent on a car ride to scout a local mosque, the Albany Times Union (6/21/13) reported.

Feight, who is expected to testify against Crawford, entered a guilty plea on Wednesday; Crawford plead not guilty (TimesUnion.com, 1/22/14). 

Despite its compelling–not to say bizarre–details, there’s been little coverage of the story outside the Albany region. The New York Times, published 150 miles away, ran a single story (6/20/13) about the plot after the arraignments last June–on page 24.

It’s hard not to think back on previous undercovered terrorism stories and conclude that if suspects in this story were Muslims, and their alleged targets Christians or Jews, it would have dominated our media world for the past  several months.

About Steve Rendall

Senior Media Analyst and Co-producer of CounterSpin Steve Rendall is FAIR's senior analyst. He is co-host of CounterSpin, FAIR's national radio show. His work has received awards from Project Censored, and has won the praise of noted journalists such as Les Payne, Molly Ivins and Garry Wills. He is co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error (The New Press, 1995, New York City). Rendall has appeared on dozens of national television and radio shows, including appearances on CNN, C-SPAN, CNBC, MTV and Fox Morning News. He was the subject of a profile in the New York Times (5/19/96), and has been quoted on issues of media and politics in publications such as the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post and New York Times. Rendall contributed stories to the International Herald Tribune from France, Spain and North Africa; worked as a freelance writer in San Francisco; and worked as an archivist collecting historical material on the Spanish Civil War and the volunteers who fought in it. Rendall studied philosophy and chemistry at San Francisco State University, the College of Notre Dame and UC Berkeley.