5 arrested in alleged plot to blow up Cleveland-area bridge
The FBI released these images of the defendants Tuesday morning.
May 1st, 2012
10:18 AM ET

5 arrested in alleged plot to blow up Cleveland-area bridge

[Updated at 12:06 p.m. ET] Five men have been arrested on suspicion of trying to use what they thought were explosives to destroy a bridge near Cleveland, Ohio, the FBI said Tuesday morning.

Some of the men on Monday planted what they thought were two remotely activated C-4-based explosive devices which they allegedly bought from an undercover FBI employee  at the base of  a Route 82 bridge that crosses from Brecksville to Sagamore Hills over the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the FBI said in a news conference Tuesday.

The devices actually were inoperable and posed no threat to the public, and the FBI arrested the men shortly after the devices were planted, authorities said.

Douglas L. Wright, 26; Brandon L. Baxter, 20; and Anthony Hayne, 35, were arrested by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force on Monday evening on charges of conspiracy and attempted use of explosive materials to damage physical property affecting interstate commerce, the FBI said.

Also arrested were Connor C. Stevens, 20; and Joshua S. Stafford, 23. Their charges were pending.

Three of the men are self-proclaimed anarchists, the FBI said in a news release.

"The public was never in danger from explosive devices," the FBI said.

The group initially planned to "topple financial institution signs atop high rise buildings in downtown Cleveland" while co-conspirators used smoke grenades to distract law enforcement, according to the FBI. But the plot evolved into plans for using explosive to destroy bridges or other targets, and the group finally decided on the Brecksville-Northfield High Level Bridge, which carries Route 82 over the national park, the FBI said.

Some of the defendants, after they planted the devices, intended to detonate them from a remote location that they believed was safe and could provide them with an alibi, authorities said at Tuesday's news conference.

The FBI learned of the plots through a confidential source who met Wright at a Cleveland-area protest event in November, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. district court. Wright told the source that Wright and a group of anarchists "had been discussing plans involving violence and destruction to physical property ... to send a message to corporations and the United States government," the complaint reads.

“The complaint in this case alleges that the defendants took specific and defined actions to further a terrorist plot,” U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach said in the news release. “The defendants stand charged based not upon any words or beliefs they might espouse, but based upon their own plans and actions.”

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soundoff (564 Responses)
  1. BoilerGuy

    What "Cleveland-area protest event in November" pray tell..... Could it be OWS??

    May 1, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • January24

      COULD it be the "Occupy" mob?

      Dear, there are no other suspects. This is just a little sub-group of the Zucotti Park gang. I can smell them from here.

      The darlings of the Left.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  2. JfG510

    damn white folks...there such terrorist

    May 1, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • At the Beach

      Bet you didn't pass an English class in school.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  3. cmc

    Wow. They don't exactly look like Mensa members, do they?

    May 1, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • January24

      No, they're clearly not MENSA material. But they fit in just fine at Zucotti Park.

      You know, the mob you could actually SMELL from coast to coast.

      Darlings of the Left. They even got an endorsement from Obama and Pelosi. "OCCUPY."

      May 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. TakeTime

    Just a bunch of unemployed goons with nothing else to do. I bet they were trouble-makers from pre-k on. Let them join the likes of Timothy McVeigh. Let's fan those flames!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • January24

      Sorry. Nice try at deflection.

      This is the "Occupy" mob. The darlings of the Left.

      Zucotti Park, remember? That gang even got a special seal of approval from Obama and Pelosi.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. O.T.

    This is a much more ambitious project than would expect from the typical member of the OWS crowd. Unfortunately, I guess, all of them aren't lazy.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  6. squidbilly1

    Anarchists believe in the sovereignty of the individual and against the state so they are kind of tea party types on steroids.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      I agree. I find it ironic that Leftist, who are known to support BIGGER GOVERNMENT (Socialism and Communism) are called Anarchist–talking about complete polar opposites. I always thought the 'right' was closer to anarchism for their small-to-none government beliefs.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      These people have always been strongly aligned with the political left in this country, and you know it. You don't see tea party at OWS, you see anarchists.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • January24

      Sorry.

      Nice try at deflection.

      These are the darlings of the Left. The "Occupy" crowd.

      Zucotti Park, remember? You can smell them from here.

      Tea Party members bathe.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Uncle Spooge

    How is this not a MAJOR story? This could have been on par with the Oklahoma city bombing but a government group not only stopped it but had a handle on it long before it went down. When you can't blame the man its not a story I guess.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      It's headline news, what else do you need to qualify as major news?

      May 1, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  8. Geest

    Better start profiling white men!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Profiling works.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son.

      If you knew anything about math, you MIGHT realize how stupid that sounds.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  9. Al

    This is an example of what swims at the bottom of the gene pool.... suprised they wern't happily lighting fireworks on top of a natural gas storage mound. The remaining and troubling question is; Do they have any relatives?

    May 1, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • January24

      Yep.

      They've got relatives.

      Remember? They were kissing their sisters in the tents at Zucotti Park. I'm sure there are offspring by now.

      Leftists who will defecate on a police vehicle and "pleasure" themselves in public.

      "Occupy" for sure.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bob

    Why they thought blowing up a bridge would have any effect on big corporations is a mystery. They look uneducated, a bath wouldn't hurt them either.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • January24

      Uneducated?

      Yes, I think that's a safe conclusion.

      This shouldn't be a surprise to anybody who watched the "Occupy" mob at Zucotti Park.

      I liked the way Obama and Pelosi embraced the "Occupy" crowd as its very own. Darlings of the Left - adored by Susan Sarandon and Alec Baldwin.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Yakobi

    I guess a terrorist sympathizer like yourself would be happier if the FBI failed to stop them and they succeeded in blowing up a bridge.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Orwell

      failed to stop them? they wanted to take down a billboard and the fbi convinced them to go farther. it says that in the article. are you brainless?

      May 1, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • LivinginVA

      Large signs on top of buildings – could have killed a lot more people than a bridge if they fell in the street.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Double taxed

    What a fine looking group.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  13. CedarRapids

    you make a plot to destroy things and next thing you know some guy comes up and offers to sell you some c4....and you dont suspect anything? really?
    You get the impression that the FBI guys were asking themselves if it was cruel to take advantage of such dumb individuals.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  14. Socialist

    Crazy anarcho capitalist type tea party people.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Ok...anyone who are trying to align this with the tea party are true cowards. You know this is an example of violence by those on the political left, and your attempts to deflect that are disgusting. I am happily willing to admit there is enough hate on both sides to go around. But the left is as equally guilty as the right. How many OWS members threw firebombs in Oakland again?

      May 1, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • CedarRapids

      " How many OWS members threw firebombs in Oakland again?"

      how many? i keep trying to find images of these firebombs but cant find any.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  15. noteabags

    There's no money to fix bridges when people want lower taxes.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
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