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. andy

    where are all muslim bashers? hiding in thier caves lol

    May 1, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • January24

      Guess what?

      I'm a multi-tasker. I can detest violent Islam and at the very same time despise these cretins of the Left. The abominable "Occupy" mob. The darlings of the Left. Embraced as their very own by Obama and Pelosi, remember?

      May 1, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  2. markE

    deport those white punks

    May 1, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • john

      Deport them so they can walk free? No, you prosecute them and put them away for good.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • January24

      But first, let's let them make their case in person to their patron in the Oval Office.

      If you recall, Mr. Obama endorsed the "Occupy" crowd as his very own kind of people. Pelosi too. There there was the Hollywood "elite" who went down to Zucotti Park. Susan Sarandon and Alec Baldwin and the other "great thinkers" of the Left.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  3. Dan

    Freakin' Muslims at it again! (sarcasm)

    May 1, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  4. hillbillynwv

    The one on the left looks like a wannabe Vanilla Ice with that hair. Tar and feather them on the couthouse steps!!!!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  5. The King

    Need to goad these huckleberries into doing something stupid every once in a while in order to justify the "anti-terrorism" budget.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • January24

      "Huckleberries?"

      Why these are members in good standing of the leftist "Occupy" mob.

      Bite your tongue or your president will have your arrested. He put his special seal of approval on the Zucotti Park gang.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  6. Diest

    "Self proclaimed anarchists"..................more like everyday morons.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  7. cando

    Jail time. I wouldnt trust them with a dead snake.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • January24

      But hey. If you need someone to defecate on your car, these are the guys.

      All members in good standing of "Occupy." Remember how they demonstrated their "talents" by taking a "movement" on a police vehicle.

      This is the group which got the loving seal of approval from Obama and Pelsoi. The Zucotti Park gang.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  8. jeff carroll via akron

    nice work FBI, i cant believe they bought fake explosives, if it was real they would have killed people. i drove across that bridge yesterday.....nuckin futs

    May 1, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  9. Ben

    Good job FBI! The FBI has stopped a countless number of these idiots since 9-11. This is the kind of security that is actually working. We need to invest more in the FBI and less into the TSA.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  10. Mike

    Nice!!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  11. Bill Timmonds

    "The group on Monday planted what they thought were two C-4-based explosive devices – which they allegedly bought from undercover FBI employees."

    Say no more, another set-up job by the FBI.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  12. Obama la llama

    So let me get this straight, 5 hillbilly "anarchists" had fake FBI explosives and were so dedicated to their "beliefs" that they tried to blow up a small bridge in the middle of nowhere, USA. People with fake explosives are too dumb to get real explosives and are obviously patsies. There is probably at least a million dumb people in this country, are we gonna try to trick them all into being "terrorists"? We live in the safest part of the world and everyone is worried about getting blown up, LOL!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill Timmonds

      This seems to be a trend.

      The FBI locate guillable, desperate, and willing people, give them a plan and offer to give them materials, then parade back into the spotlight claiming they foiled a terrorist plot.

      The FBI is essentially creating these plots, it's ridiculous.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • January24

      Hillbillies?

      I'm afraid you have allowed your stereotypical fantasies get in the way of the obvious truth.

      These are members in good standing of the "Occupy" gang. Remember? Zucotti Park?

      Darlings of the LEFT.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  13. Amy

    I've driven over this bridge hundreds of times. It's hardly a critical bridge in the Cleveland area. If they were targeting a bridge, why not target any of the major highway bridges in the area? (There are at least 2 within a mile of their targeted bridge that would have had a much bigger impact.)

    May 1, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  14. angryersmell

    Not that I mind them being caught, because I don't, but why it's it that clowns like this are always caught by undercover FBI agents selling them something (usually, a fake bomb). If there are so many of these rocket scientists out there plotting, how come none of them every actually pull off an attack?

    May 1, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  15. hannamomma

    So are these losers from the Occupy movement that have decided to take their message to a new level? Good grief. Obviously, not the brightest bulbs. When will the human race learn that violence only lowers the value of your argument or position.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Bubba

      Why is it so important to you wingnuts to paint them as OWS members? I keep reading that two of them are Tea Party organizers, and I suspect that's also not true. I bet they are Randites who want to vote for Ron Paul.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • hannamomma

      Hey Bubba – guess my initial take wasn't too far off the mark.

      May 1, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
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