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. JOHN

    No intelligence included. Cleveland is already a wasteland. What difference would it make if a bridge was gone? These guys deserve to be put in the looney bin.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Brandzon

    What a great looking bunch. Especially the dude on the left.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Jim

    I'm not sure what these guys were trying to do....Cleveland has already been pretty much destroyed since the 1970's.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. realitypunk

    Please use contraception.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. JC

    Oh great, now the Ron Paul campaign is in high gear. I guess Atlas is going to have to shrug someplace else.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. BemidjiJack

    High odds that these guys are affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement. Can't wait for this to come out...

    May 1, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • JC

      Why not just make stuff up? Based on looks, I'd say they are obviously Sarah Palin voters.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  7. Chit

    Silly people. Anarchists are against government, and likely belong to no party. Jeez.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. RunForTheHills

    How can they be charged with attempting to use explosive devices when they were never in fact in possession of explosive devices?

    May 1, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Jim McGuire

    The Cleveland Plain Dealer said they were radical leftist anarcharchists. I think that's a long winded term for OWS activists. This is type of crme should get the book thrown at them. 30 years minimum with bubba!

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

      Don't put them anywhere near me. Put them in a prison instead. Put 'em near me and I'd cut 'em up for fish bait.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Mario

      Jim, You are so right like you always have been. Hope you are doing well.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  10. me

    BWAH-HAHAHAHAHA!!!! What a bunch of morons!!!! Look at those faces. Just goes to show there are plenty of stupid rednecks north of the Mason-Dixon line as well. Have fun in prison, boys. I'm sure they'll give you a VERY warm welcome your first night. And your second. And your 7,000th.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. KentuckyScience.com

    looks like akida has some friends

    May 1, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RealityCheck

    Oh look, they're white terrorists.... huh! I suppose race or religion doesn't necc. determine who will commit an act of terror.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • john

      nope...just most of the time.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • D

      "Oh look, they're white terrorists.... huh! I suppose race or religion doesn't necc. determine who will commit an act of terror."

      Second that.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Not real terrorists...manufactured from FBI

      May 1, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  13. john

    at least they will be forced to bathe now.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Michael

    This goes to show that not every terrorist is a Muslim or someone of Middle eastern descent.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • John

      Thats the point of the CNN article and fake crime invented by the FBI...

      May 1, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Not every one; only the overwhelming majority.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  15. Arnold Stang

    Does everybody still want to stop brown people only at airports?

    May 1, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse | Reply
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