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. Andre burns

    Notice the lack of racist comments. When whites commit crimes it's seen as an individual act, and when blacks commit crimes it's seen as a group characteristic.

    May 1, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ariel

      I was just thinking the same thing – it really stands out. Also, I don't see how the term white trash is racist when it's not used to describe all whites but a lower social/economic ranking of whites. More classist than anything.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Schusmann

    The true face of Occupy!

    May 1, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Big Al

    I've heard of this before. It's a well known fact that Anarchists HATE bridges.
    The'll drive for miles to get around them.

    May 1, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Cowboy54

    I wonder if Arizona will create a law to search and profile white people....

    May 1, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. HvyCavSgt

    When you buy from the FBI, you just can't trust them to deliver as agreed upon. Someone ought to report them to the BBB.

    May 1, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bill

    thanks for giving the TSA an excuse to grope white guys.

    May 1, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Rosa Birmingham, AL

    Just let the Ryan budget take effect and the bridge will fall down by itself. Don't need any explosives.

    May 1, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. 12ga

    what an outstanding looking group of young men.

    May 1, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wenleli

      My thoughts exactly!

      May 1, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. maria

    These are the occupy wall street people and not too different from the union crazies trying to riot in Wisconsin. What wonderful representatives on Obama supporters!

    May 1, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ryan Fjords

    this article fails to mention that at least two of the five claimed to have worked at "occupy cleveland". what a shock.

    May 1, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Spence

    You just have to be happy with stupid sometimes. It works so very often with these play anarchists.

    May 1, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Schusmann

    They will occupy the jail now

    May 1, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Addys Mom

      Good One!

      May 1, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. havenofear

    when are are gonna start bombing and invading cleveland ohio since that's where these terrorists come from?

    May 1, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. wheels

    Being in Cleveland, the bridge will probably fall on its own in couple of years anyways

    May 1, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Sarah

    Yeah – we're sure the President was thinking of Brandon when he made that statement. Maybe you need to be a reporter on Fox news.

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