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. Yes

    Look at that crew, they couldn't light paper on fire, let alone blow up a bridge. This is an easy sentence, kill them all

    May 1, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. GrandmaPunk!

    The first rule of Anarchy Club is...you don't talk about Anarchy Club!

    The second rule of Anarchy Club is...YOU DON'T TALK ABOUT ANARCHY CLUB!!

    Sounds like the white trash Ohio version of Project Mayhem has gone horrible wrong.

    No wonder Michiganders laugh at us!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Marley

    I think it's time we deport all white men back to their own country! LMAO

    May 1, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • George Campbell

      Heck YEAH!! Denmark or Scotland. SEND ME!!

      May 1, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  4. pprty

    Good job FBI !!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. January24

    What does it make them, oh intellectually challenged one?

    Good citizens?

    I can smell your "Occupy" affiliation from here. It stinks.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. enricorosan

    What a sorry looking bunch ! We are lucky this time that this gang is IQ deficient . But who knows maybe somewhere out there there is a disgruntled mad Physicist or structural engineer who graduated top of his class and hates America. God forbid..

    May 1, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • George Campbell

      Unibomber....

      May 1, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  7. Dan

    So to send a message to big corporations you blow up a bridge? So was their message "We don't really know what a corporation is."

    May 1, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bubba

      Keywords: "the FBI learned about it" When the FBI knows about it, it isn't just idle talk, honey. Best to scoop them up before they manage to steal some dynamite.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  8. Dean

    Anrachists=Obama supporters...part of that great1% that obama and the libs praise. LOL.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • mw-maryland

      Very silly and stupid!

      May 1, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • January24

      Yes, indeed, Dean.

      I remember very well when both Obama and Pelosi recklessly endorsed the Zucotti Park mob.

      It was outrageous then. But not unexpected. What else would one expect from Obama whose old running buddy is William Ayers.

      The very same William Ayers who was quoted recently as saying he wakes up every morning with a fresh determination to destroy capitalism. No wonder Obama held his very first political fund-raiser in Ayer's living room!

      May 1, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. KatyaKatya

    What I just read is that misguided young people were talking empty talk how they were fed up with things and how they would have liked to blow something up. Very stupid but you do sometimes hear things like that. Normally it ends there. But this time the FBI learned about it, planted an undercover agent to offer them actual bombs and for all I know the agent might have talked them into buying bombs and planting them. That looks like provoking idiots to do things like that. OK, so they got to make an arrest.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • banasy ©

      Not me at 5:11.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    These are the faces of "Un-American" with the intent to do harm to innocent Americans and they too should be sent to "Gitmo".

    May 1, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • George Campbell

      My first thought exactly!!

      May 1, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  11. YBP

    You can tell by just looking at them that they're morons. Trouble is that they look like any average American kid these days. This country is full to the brim of dumb, lazy couch potatoes. America! We're Number One!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Obama la llama

    CNN you scared me so much I can't leave my house!! There's terrorists everywhere, even on Fox! OMG can we just nuke Iran and be safe again? I have to leave the house soon, my dad's original long form PDF birth certificate got lost when the computer crashed... AL-CIA-EDA!!!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Big Al

    That's not the band Korn? That looks like Korn. Are they touring through Cleveland?

    May 1, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. fortheLULZ

    not to say I want people to blow up bridges. No need for senseless harm and killing.. :/

    May 1, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Conserv1

    People, not everything is a political ploy and you cannot blame one administration or 1 political party for any of this. This problem stems from the fact that there are people out there with an inate devotion to destruction and yes, there are just pure evil people in this world. We, as Americans, a people, need to join together to bring these types to justice and ensure that all of us, regardless of political affiliations, are safe, not only here in America, but the world. Dividing us politically will not solve this problem just as segregation of race didn't solve our race issues.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • January24

      Certainly we can.

      When Obama and Pelosi go on record as supporting the Zucotti Park mob - which they most certainly did - we CAN blame the Democrats for this c rap.

      Do you think the "Occupiers" are Republican?

      May 1, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
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