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. jbird68

    Why is it that a lot of anarchists don't look bright enough to pull off stuff like this? What political statement were they making with a BRIDGE? They look like 80s Punk Rock rejects who should be in the woods making moonshine. Strange guys.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  2. Lara

    They all look creepy as hell! Glad they were stopped before anything bad happened, shame on them!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  3. guest_x

    Thier citizenship should be revoked and then they should be treated as terrorists and routed through the military justice system.

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

      Wake up guest_x, it wont happen. They are not Muslims.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  4. paulbark

    Right wing nuts are okay with these kinds of terrorists, because, you know, they aren't Muslims or immigrants. The far right likes the while home-grown terrorists, because they're "real Americans."

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

      So, paulbark, do you make the same stereotypical comments about african-americans, hispanics, and/or jewish people or just those that disagree with you?

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

      I knew it, "right wing nuts. Thank you paul for doing exactly what I knew the left would. You left out Neocon, that would of been the closer.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  5. jbmart1312

    Whew! some of the comments on this blog make me think the FBI needs to look at you.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • January24

      I've been thinking ever since I got a big whiff of the smelly "Occupy" gang that they would do something even more stupid than p ooping on a police vehicle. Here is it.

      Obama's and Pelosi's crowd. Remember how they got the seal of approval from those two? Yep. Not to mention the Hollywood geniuses such as Susan Sarandon and Alec Baldwin.

      I wonder if the Left will take up a collection and insist that these creatures be bonded out.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ed Sr of Dallas Tx

    Just what we need NOW.....home grown terrorists! Thanks to international news and the computer we have some American grown terrorists trying to become famous!

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

      you think this is new? do you not remember OKC bombing

      May 1, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • UniB

      In case your just now coming out from under that rock you've been under, the US has had plenty of "home grown" terrorists many decades before anyone in the US ever heard of Al Queda or commonly used the term "terrorist".

      One of the most famous was Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, who from the 70's to 90's injured and killed people with his mail bombs.

      It's of note that many of these "terrorists" were also around before the internet existed...

      May 1, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  7. Michael

    This is why I have no problem with the FBI or CIA or who ever reading internet files and seraching phone calls. I would rather them hear that I am coming home from work and be bored about it too, then get blown up on the bridge that I cross while coming home from work.

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

      The patriot act did not help them with this arrest. FBI agents sold them bombs.

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

      exactly

      May 1, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • retphxfire

      Slippery slope, my friend, slippery slope. Throughout history when a society has agreed to less rights, more power to either the military or enforcement groups the power has turned corrupt, the First Amendment would be even less enforced than it is now.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  8. OGR99

    Hey! Look on the bright side. At least the repair of the bridge would be 'shovel-ready'....

    May 1, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  9. kinglywarrior

    Lebron's fault?

    May 1, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  10. PDXRains

    Waaait... So they arrested 5 WHITE GUYS on terrorism charges??? This is something new.

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

      5 more Idiots that will be locked up for quite sometime. Kudos to the FBI who nabbed them.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  11. cleveland resident

    I guess none of you airheads have been to cleveland..i invite all of you to visit..you ll love!!! CLEVELAND ROCKS !!!!!!

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

      Yeah, Cleveland stinks. Literally. Every time I drive down the Jennings Freeway or the Shoreway I get hit with a wave of stench like Cleveland just farted(again). There really is very little happening here. It is home, and there are a great many quality people here, but we are limping along...

      May 1, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  12. Allegra

    My, what a wholesome looking group of individuals. I know profiling is wrong, but shouldn't these people have been in prison long before now, just on general principle?

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

      Putting people in jail on "general principles" is something countries like nazi Germany and Stalinist USSR did. Is that ok with you?

      May 1, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • January24

      Well, I personally think that the stench from Zucotti Park alone should have been criminal assault - at least.

      But after I saw the "Occupy" mob defecating on police vehicles and blocking the ports in CA, causing the dock workers to lose time and pay, I realized it was only a matter of time before these leftist monkeys did something even more stupid.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  13. Brian

    Good job FBI, thank you.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  14. goodegyptian

    Funny how they don't call them terrorists. Kill yourself racist America.

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

      “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.

      Did you even bother to read the story first?

      May 1, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  15. Bernard Fife

    Hang 'Em High! on live TV.

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