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. sortakinda

    FBI now says the group had hoped to provoke a war between Ohio and Pennsylvania.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  2. No Dice

    What's worse: To be a terrorist or a stupid would-be terrorist? How embarrassing it must be to buy dummy explosives and then get arrested for trying to set them off. The FBI is actually sending a message that such plots are not as easy to pull off as they used to be. I wonder about the stuff we don't hear about.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  3. Socialist

    They are anarcho capitalists.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  4. jqent

    Anarchists. The most extreme wing of the "Government is evil" fringe. Brothers under the skin to Tea Party wackos.

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

      Sorry. Nice try at spin.

      You know and we know that these cretins are part of the "Occupy" gang. It's just embarrassing to you since they are the darlings of the Left.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  5. paulbark

    WE need to start profiling young white men.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • January24

      No. Just the "Occupy" mob.

      Not all white men. Just those who appear on the surveillance tapes of the Zuccoti Park siege.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  6. joe jack

    Obviously left wing OWS people.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  7. BookemDano

    These guys are pretty enough to sit at the princess table at whatever prison at which they'll reside. I'm thinking they will spend the first five years wondering what went wrong, and the next five years planning their next super-villain caper for after their comrades break them out with cement-eating acid pens. Thank you FBI for yet another day without a terrorist event. My family is rests more easily at night knowing you're out there taking care of us.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob Black

      These men are traitors to your country and deserve the death penalty.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  8. PEDO BEAR

    And...BOOM Goes the dynamite....
    I said BOOM!!!
    Umm...
    Who bought pancake batter instead of C-4?!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  9. ceg

    Good Job!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  10. Josef F

    Wait a minute. I'm confused. None of these guys look Muslim. According to what I've learned from Fox News and the GOP, only brown-skinned Muslims are terrorists.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Axl Rose

      White Obama supporters are, too, apparently.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • OGR99

      Then you haven't been paying attention.

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

      "The FBI learned of the plots through a confidential source who met Wright at a Cleveland-area protest event in November"

      From the looks of it it's the Democrat Occupy Movement...

      May 1, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Yuuup

      Nope, they are white dudes who feel the world is out to get them, so they want to get "them" first. The GOP as well as others usually ignore stuff like this, when the folks doing the plots look like them or their kids. Goes to show nut jobs can be any color and live anywhere.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • January24

      This is the "Occupy" gang. Their day jobs are as rocket scientists.

      No; just joking. Their day "jobs" are having "movements" on police vehicles and pleasuring themselves in public a la Zucotti Park.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  11. hmmmm

    Occupy Gone Wild!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  12. not impressed

    This is another entrapment case, where the FBI finds weak-minded folks, eggs them on, then finally arrests them at the last moment. (Manufactured) crisis averted. The only upside is that if the FBI does this long enough, maybe it'll plant seeds of mistrust among terrorists, thereby slowing problems. The major downside is that they're spending time creating fake terrorists instead of infiltrating and stopping real ones.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • effelbee

      You actually figured it out. The FBI is not as interested in entrapment as you think, but if you were actually planning to engage in tgerrorism, nobody can be trusted-this is the real objective. Also, it is not entrapment if the intent began with the wrongdoers.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • PEDO BEAR

      *Holds up the image on the left*
      And this, kids, is why we don't do drugs...

      May 1, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  13. iceload9

    The guy on the far left, they should arrest whoever gave him that haircut.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  14. ghostkeeper

    They r really stupid, I can say they r the dampest guys ever... would put them in the DAMPEST SHOW on SPIKE channel

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

    Once again the media has convieniently calling them "terrorist" I gues if there names were Ahmad, Mohammad they would become instantly be Al Qaeda sypathizers which Mosque they attend how religious they were and on and on..
    Wake up America. they are here and they don't belong to any one faith.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
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