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. maxine

    grand... more imbeciles from my home state and city!!! Crap!
    C'mon boys go get a job or at least get a hobby! and move to Detroit, would ya?

    May 1, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • therealhawkman

      Isn't it a shame the FBI didn't give them real explosives and a faulty fuse?

      May 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. tiny tony

    animals-their cause is nothing=exile them. tim mcveigh is their hero, i sure they were hoping to kill little defenseless children. what real men they are in their own minds. but of course here in this country they have rights=wasting tax payers money on a trial and now they are where they want to be-ON THE FRONT PAGE.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • toddzero

      actually tiny tony i think timothy mcveigh would have been their enemy. they're anarchists... timothy mcveigh was a libertarian or nationalist or something.

      it gets confusing but i think ideologically there's a big difference between the clean shaven dudes with guns who hang out in the woods all day and the bearded dudes with bombs who hang out in the woods all day

      May 1, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • PK

      Of course they have rights. They are the same rights you have. It is the strength of this nation. You don't like the rights they have in this country, rights we all share, there's the proverbial door. Certainly they deserve to be punished but our system is a strength, not a weakness.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jack M

    I thought they would be Muslims too

    May 1, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • anwar shah

      Are they Christians? Should we call them christian Terrorists? Please do not associate religion with Terrorism. It will be a crime and US media promotes and is guilty of this crime.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba

      Since we're just making stuff up today, it turns out that they are all Romney supporters who assumed this brilliant move would make him President overnight. And they got their plans from a flying saucer, but Jack Bauer shot them in the thigh.

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

    Good post, Rick.

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

    IUhm...I can't recall a single instance where execution has resulted in deterring others from acts of violence. If you can find one please supply it.... I'm all ears.

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

    The headline should read "Christian Terrorist"...the media needs to be consistant!!!!

    May 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • GauisCaesar

      I would doubt they are Christians. of course, you might enjoy stereotyping people.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      How do you know they are Christian or that their act was driven by religion?

      May 1, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba

      "How do you know they are Christian or that their act was driven by religion?"

      Did they grow up in Christian households? Good enough for me. They say Obama is Muslim because he was in a Muslim school when he was five, right? Then these Terrorists are Christians all the way, and the Church is right behind their actions. Don't tell me different because I'm patriotic.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JAANC

    morons

    May 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. TriXen

    From their pictures, they don't look too bright.

    May 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charlie

      They don't look bathed either.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Big Al

    That's an odd bet. Only people thinking they're doing "God's work" do this sort of thing.

    May 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Saywhatyoumean

    I bet they still shopped at Walmart and got food stamps. Reality is so much more complicated than the fantasy they live in.

    May 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba

      Make up your mind; are they rich trust fund kids or are they getting food stamps? Let's pretend some more stuff about them! This is fun. They are all related to Snooki. They campaigned for Herman Cain. They are all Mormons.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Lee

    There must be tons of under cover FBI agents because every time we hear of this thing happening, the perps are always buying non-working devices or guns from under covers. I guess intelligence goes a long ways.

    May 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. JM

    Crazy terrorists come in all shapes and colors.

    Common sense: There are good and bad people in every race and religion. The goal is to find the criminals, not to ignorantly profile innocent people.

    Sounds idiotic but I feel like saying: well done (to everyone involved, from the person who informed authorities to the authorities who took care of this).

    We spend so much time yelling in this country. Fortunately some people are actually doing the work to keep our nation safe (from the actual criminals/terrorists).

    May 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • therealhawkman

      Operative word..........Crazy.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ruggles

    Thank you OWS.

    May 1, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ejaz

    Thanks God: They are not Muslims. I hope they were not inspired by Al-Qaeda or any other Muslim.

    May 1, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. James

    they met at a protest in November......an OWS protest maybe?????

    May 1, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • twirtzy

      Geesh, yes at a OWS event. Read the article and then comment. You look foolish when you do it the other way around.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
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