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.”

soundoff (564 Responses)
  1. saywhat

    "Self proclaimed anarchists". This threat is real & tangible. The likes of Hutarees (Soldiers of Christ) and other militias on our soil are treated with kid gloves. These too would be handled in the same manner.

    May 1, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  2. Josh

    Win one for the good guys. Enjoy prison suckas!!!

    May 1, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Phil in Oregon

      Yeah! Govt – 3, Anarchists – 0. Now they can make toilet paper bombs and throw them into other guys' cells. The public will be in no danger from these.

      May 1, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  3. Grinning Libber

    More Reichwing cranks. Thanx Faux. Thanx hate radio.

    May 1, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • politicallyinsurrect

      I like your Marilyn Manson-esque compound puns. Not a fan of either democrats or republicans, but I like the point you make.

      May 1, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • WorldBelow

      No worries knucklehead, the grinning libs (ACLU) will have them out in a couple of months.

      May 1, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • DennyB

      Grinning Libber "More Reichwing cranks. Thanx Faux. Thanx hate radio".

      Grinning Libber if your going to use a German word in your post at least use the correct one. Reich is Does NOT mean Right. Recht is and would be the correct word. Reich is the word for Empire.

      May 1, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Are you kidding??? I can tell you that these guys don't vote right or left. And if there was a occupy wall street or a tea party rally they would go to the occupy one first. They are domestic terrorists and anarchists. To toss them in with one party or the other is just silly. There are there people on both sides of the political spectrum guilty of doing stupid things?..... Of course, but you have these guys pegged wrong. I have never met a GOP anarchist. I have met Dems who follow that ideology but most of the idiots who do things dumb like this on the GOP side do it because of religious beliefs not because they are anarchists.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  4. politicallyinsurrect

    LMAO Bombing a bridge in Cleveland, yeah that'll really throw the world into anarchy ahahaha. They might've killed a few crackheads and a homeless guy. Meanwhile the rest of the state and country wouldn't even notice.

    May 1, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • catsnake

      So True!! 🙂

      May 1, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Lean6

      The dysfuntion and disconnectedness of America is no laughing matter, i'm afraid. But, you are correct. As long as it doesn't affect our own little worlds or interrupt "American Idol", Americans are willing to accept anything.

      May 1, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      As a resident of the City, that is not something to joke about. I have friends who could have died this morning on that bridge, and we have immense pride for our city. Cleveland is not the hell hole it is portrayed as from our sports teams media coverage. Please do no wish bad things upon my city again (or any one else's)

      May 1, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • politicallyinsurrect

      Whatever. I have friends who could have died any morning. Doesn't mean I can't laugh about it, you uptight Romneyite. I'm a resident of Charlotte, North Carolina, and I hope to god that if any city is attacked that it's this one. Bank of America runs Charlotte and this god forsaken hell hole needs to be wiped off the face of the map with toilet paper.

      May 1, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Lean6

    Conservative response: "That's it. Enough with Obama's attacks on our civil liberties."

    May 1, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • WorldBelow

      Liberal response – Give them a break, they are underprivileged and did not get enough assistance from the goverment. This is Bush's fault. They need a handout.

      May 1, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Lean6

      No. Liberal response: "Hang 'em high...after a fair hearing."

      May 1, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. doubler

    Occupy Cleveland?

    May 1, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mac

    5 guys from Pittsburgh, cus they hate Cleveland

    May 1, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jeff


    May 1, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Lean6

      **sigh** I'm good. –> Conservative response: "That's it. Enough with Obama's attacks on our civil liberties."

      May 1, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  9. Scottish Mama

    Thank you FBI. Another foiled plot to hurt americans.

    May 1, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  10. Kevin

    Tried to blow up a rusty bridge in Cleveland? I assume they caught them with about 3 packs of M80s and a case of PBR.

    May 1, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • catsnake

      Exactly! These guys don't seem very credible. I'd like to see the proof they would really go through with it cause I'm not seeing it. Blowing up a bridge ain't that easy.

      May 1, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  11. Frank

    People of the United States of America,Looks like it is time to round up all the anarchists and send them to gitmo.

    May 1, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  12. nolongerarepublican

    They are just a bunch of psycho nut cases.
    There are people in this world who get excitement out of blowing things up, and killing people.
    I wish we could still put people away in mental hospitals.
    Thanks Supreme Court, thanks for making us live with crazy people.

    May 1, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Chit

      One thing they all have in common? Crazy eyes. Wild, Charlie Manson maniacal eyes. Look to the eyes. They tell the story!

      May 1, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  13. Twiddle

    There's no need to resort to derogatory racist slurs and stereotypical profiling, Dee.

    So, if they're anarchists seeking society without structured government, I wonder how they'll adapt to the regimentation of prison.

    May 1, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  14. Dr. Loomis

    Sounds like somebody watched Fight Club too many times.

    May 1, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  15. AvgGuyinKansas

    Judging from the looks of these morons, it's not surprising they got caught. Maybe state prison authorities should tattoo a big "L" on each one's forehead since they're all a bunch of losers...

    May 1, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Santex

      Since I don't look all that hot myself I am a little concerned about judging people on the way they look.

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