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. Addys Mom

    What a bunch of fools. I can hear them now, high five, yeah, that'll show em, we did it! Yeah Dude... Hey, lets go get some Budwisers, yeah, great idea Dude! Uh, Dude? Uh, we blew up the bridge, can't get to the liquor store on the other side!

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

    Dude................they were smokin' some 'bad weed'........................as Forrest would say "Stupid is what stupid does". And wondering (?), which one was the FBI informant?

    May 1, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Chris

    Anarchists are Far Left Wingers and Uber-Liberals. These are the same vermin who make up the majority of the OWS demonstrators – the same people who urinate and defecate in public, assault cops and shun bathing as much as they do capitalism.

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

      *heh* Sounds like the Baby Boomers, circa 1968.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. bexon

    Are they wearing lipstick?

    May 1, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. sevo

    Were they all wearing red lipstick under the bridge too?

    May 1, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Hasai

    A pack of idiot children, playing terrorist.

    Well, like an acquaintance of mine once said to an AQ wanna-be they captured, "Welcome to the Big Leagues, fool."

    May 1, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Brendan

    Are they part of the 99%? Is this supposed to be striking a blow for Joe Average? No thanks. If this is the 99%, then count me out. I'd rather be part of the 1%.

    Violent people do violent deeds. The cause is secondary. Their real aim is death and destruction as they are eaten up with hate, envy and materialism. Your house is bigger than mine......I hate you. You make more money than me........I hate you. You work harder than me.........I hate you. These people are losers and they hate those who've succeeded. This is communism, pure and simple.

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

    I just want to be clear. These people do not represent accurately the far left, or even anarchism. These people are wacko nut-jobs. Most of us are nonviolent, sane individuals who just want a society based on equality, not greed. Do not let these people define leftism. That said, it seems clear to me that the FBI released information about this plot in an underhanded attempt to try to associate peaceful Occupy protesters with violent idiots like this.

    May 1, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. erik

    Based upon their pictures, they all look drugged out, which is probably why they are mad at the govt. because they don't have jobs to pay for their drugs.

    May 1, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. JB

    That one looks enough like Debbie Wasserman Schultz to be her son.

    May 1, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Big Al

    Do you think they play an Ted Nuggent covers?

    May 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jrc

    You ever noticed that every time there is some type of major arrest in this country there is some type of "undercover agent" or someone taping themselves or being recorded? Feels like the KGB is everywhere, even in the corn fields... The "Undercover Agent", a Modern Marvel.

    May 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hasai

      In the years leading up to 2001, the American Intelligence community became highly reliant upon high-technology methods of information gathering, usually to the expense of old-fashioned, boots-on-the-ground methods (aka "human intelligence," or HUMINT).

      At the close of the Cold War, the American Congress, in their "peace dividend" frenzy, gutted the Intelligence community with a disproportionate amount of the butchery landing upon the HUMINT community.

      I will not bore you with a repeat of the results, save to say that HUMINT is back to the level it should have been in 2001.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oh The Inhumanity

      personally, i'm thankful

      May 1, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. doublestandard

    Leftists, Anarchyst, occupy movement.... whatever you want to name them are nothing but TERRORISTS. They wanted to blow up a working bridge and could have possibly killed scorest of innocent civilians. They are as murderous nd vils as ALQAEDA. So please label them s they should be labeled TERRORISTS:

    May 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. twirtzy

    I find your paranoia amusing.

    May 1, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Zebulon

    Well I was going to vote Obama but this pretty much defines leftisim for me. Now I'll be voting third party – either Libertarian or AIP.

    May 1, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • riomarcos

      Libertarians are anti-government. They are anarchists. Anarchism is not a leftist ideology, anarchism is the idea that government should be so small or non-existent that you don't know it's there. This is more in line with what Ron Paul and Paul Ryan believe. I wouldn't be surprised if these guys aren't Ron Paul supporters.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba

      Leftists? These are anarchists, like Ayn Rand. I betcha Ron Paul is totally against them. Wink wink.

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

      Hey,just a bunch of unemployed bridgeworkers making work for themselves,so what,LOL!!!This ain't political,so Zebulon,whatever that is ,leave Obama out of this!!!

      May 1, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      Not me at 2:05 and 2:39.

      May 1, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
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