Channel 9 has learned the FBI tracked the main suspect of a terror plot to North Carolina twice.
Glendon Crawford first appeared in the Albany, N.Y. federal courthouse Wednesday.
He and another man are accused of trying to build a super-powered X-ray to kill people.
The FBI said Crawford was an engineer and claimed to be a member of the KKK.
The indictment, which was unsealed Wednesday, said he first traveled to a small town in North Carolina last August to get a KKK leader to pay for building the weapon.
“It would be capable of inflicting death on humans if used in the fashion for which it was designed,” said Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney John Duncan.
That town where they first met is not identified. But by a second meeting weeks later in Greensboro, that Klan leader had contacted the FBI and two undercover agents joined him to hear Crawford’s alleged plot.
Prosecutors said Crawford and Eric Feight planned to kill Muslims and a high-profile politician.
The FBI had been on Crawford’s trail since early 2012 when he went to a synagogue near his home in Albany, saying he had a gift for the people of Israel.
“He was talking about something – a weapon that would really eliminate people,” said Congregation Gates of Heaven Rabbi Matt Cutler.
Prosecutors call the weapon “Hiroshima on a light switch.”
Agents said it was to be mounted in a truck, remotely controlled and shoot invisible beams with high doses of radiation at victims.
“Individuals who would be subject to this X-ray radiation, would not immediately know that they had been harmed until some days later when they would either be injured or it could result in their death,” Duncan said.
Both suspects are headed back to federal court in Albany. Their court-appointed lawyers will ask a judge to set bond.
If convicted at trial, they could face 15 years in prison.