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. Rising Red

    Terrorists...I mean Anarchists. Sorry, I forgot that they were white.

    May 1, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ellen Claire Kowit

    We are fortunate to have the dedicated men and women of the FBI protecting us.

    May 1, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. rick

    The news this morning about these guy is that they are all from the OCCUPY movement, and in deed they list themselves as exactly that on their facebook pages.
    You don't see the media now bashing the occupiers like they do the Tea Party do you?
    Hell no you don't, the media supports the Occupy movement, just like Move on.org, and the WHITEHOUSE does.

    May 1, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katherine

      IF you had bothered to read the articles available yesterday (and that's a BIG if) you'd see that the men were put off by Occupy which has a non-violent policy! Their advocating for violence fell on deaf ears at occupy meetings ... why do you think the media isn't calling them "the occupy five" or something similar. God all mighty!

      Teapartiers, on the other hand, are anti-american. They advocate against their own people for the corporations and very wealthy. "Teapartiers" (not to be confused with members of the Boston Teaparty which advocated for no taxation WITHOUT COLONIAL REPRESENTATION) are treasonous.

      May 2, 2012 at 6:21 am | Report abuse |
    • ron

      yeah, i remember entire cable networks dedicating hours of coverage to the occupy movement and promoting them. oh wait, that was the teabaggers.

      get a grip you idiot. the media has totally marginalized the occupy movement and ridiculed them from day one – its against their business interests – while totally pumping up the wrong about everything (reality, facts, etc.) teabaggers because they coincide with their business interests.

      May 2, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. lee

    I drive across that bridge alot and so does my family and friends. The fact that some people on here think this is funny scares me. Show some respect for people. If you dont live near here its easy to poke fun when your not the one in harms way. Thank you to the FBI and all the deparments watching for people like these 5 sickos. Throw them in jail and never let them out.

    May 1, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. InterThink

    It's very interesting that these guys are being labeled as "Anarchists". If they were brown or black, they would be immediately labeled as "Terrorists". No matter what anybody says, white people can be terrorists and these guys have proven my point! Call them Anarchists if you want but they were trying to commit an act of terror and therefore they are terrorists!

    May 2, 2012 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      SELF-PROCLAIMED anarchists. Quit trying to make an issue out of this. They called *themselves* anarchists.

      May 2, 2012 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jubril

    CNN forgot to mention that this folks are white and are Christians. If they were Muslims, CNN would have mentioned that like 10 times , even mentioning the mosque they attend.. double standards

    May 2, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  7. rockyjessup

    Anarchists? Hey CNN, why won't you call them Occupiers? That's what they are. You would certainly trumpet a Tea Party connection of there were one. (There wouldn't be one, though. Despite the best efforts of the MSM, including CNN, to paint the Tea Party as dangerous extremists, the Tea Party has no plots to blow things up on their record.)

    May 2, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jeff

    This is why we still have Gitmo. They can call themselves anything they want – most terrorists call themselves "patriot" or "martyr". They ARE terrorists. Just so they get treated like terrorists, call them anything.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jeff

    Oh,
    And what a ice looking bunch of rocket scientists, too. Average IQ is.....?

    May 2, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. hotchinscotch

    These guys are the poster child to Occupy. What these lads need is a stylist and a derma-make-over. Bad hair, bad skin. and dirty filthy clothes.
    You can't be a carnie freak and expect to get a good job looking like a bum.. maybe all the ows occupy crowd should go to a career fair to get advice on how to clean up and have happy positive thoughts.

    May 2, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. meh

    Well, at least they have their looks going for them. They look like fine upstanding citizens. Not only would I let them date my daughter, they can borrow my car while they are at it.

    May 2, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jake

    anarchists? what is this 1890?

    May 2, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. G D

    Apparently the face of anarchy comes with a really bad hair-cut. How else would you be able to pick them out? Perhaps too much time in Xbox reality as opposed to talking with neighbors at a BBQ.

    May 2, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. (Butch) Ronald Dennis Long

    I think they're too white. My wife thinks they're not white enough. I wonder if they all drive "ACURAS"

    May 2, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. (Butch) Ronald Dennis Long

    As Howard Cosell use to say, "They show very little sign (now in a lower voice) of civilized (LOUDER) PROCEDURE! The ECONOMY of their wardrobe is simply..OVERWHELMING!....back to you...GIPPER!"

    May 2, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
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