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. Gregory Faith

    March each of them into a separate room with a revolver and one bullet. Lock the doors and throw away the keys. Everyone wins, not taxes spent on a trail, they get what they deserve. That 's what I would do to home grown terrorists. Enough said on this story

    May 1, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  2. WakkaWakka

    Were they christian? That is important information.

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

      Sorry, Wakka.

      You'll have to do better at propaganda than THAT.

      Clearly, these are members of the "Occupy" mob. Refugees from Zucotti Park.

      Remember Zucotti Park? The squatters whose views were endorsed by Obama and Pelosi?

      Darlings of the Left.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. erik

    Silly humans. Guess we will have to wait for wall street to fail and for everyone to lose their money before anyone cares about anything.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  4. Ambrose Smith

    The racists are bummed 'cause these guys are white as snow. Guess they'll have to sit this one out and head for the Krispy Kreme.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob Loblaw


      this story is stupid enough without trolling for the racist/redneck demographic, buddy.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Just Me

      Yep. You hit the nail on the head. WOW....

      May 1, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son.

      I agree with huh? Whites typically don’t make everything about race.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • progressivefail

      actually it's those who like to cry racism who are upset because this proves the FBI doesn't just target people of color when targeting terrorists.

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

    Right wing or left wing radicals? Does it matter? The extremes on both sides are what's wrong with this country. If guilty, prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.

    I will also add that that successful anarchy appears to be inversely proportional to good looks.

    Thanks for that and the FBI.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • January24

      Yes, James, it matters. It matters a great deal.

      Because here are the darlings of the Left - the "Occupiers." Refugees from Zucotti Park.

      Doing what Napolitano had everyone believing that Methodists would be doing next.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cannon>Nikon

    Does the FBI know how to take straight photos? This isnt an art project. Only thing missing is Instagram

    May 1, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  7. Speedy

    Give them a break??? They planted the fake C-4 Explosives they bought from undercover agents. Does not seem like palying to me! They should all go to prison for life PERIOD.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  8. UniB

    Actually, I'm sure the Patriot Act played it's part. How did the FBI know they were looking to buy bombs? My guess is they went on Craigs List or some other site and set up a meet to buy C-4. Afterward, the Feds gave them fakes to incriminate themselves further by actually planting them somewhere as a "terrorist" act.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • January24

      So, Uni.

      Should we put you down as a vote in favor of the "Occupy" mob blowing up bridges?

      Yeah. We know how you Leftists just ADORE bombs and violence. Ever since the days when William Ayers managed to off his girlfriend during one merry afternoon of bomb-making.

      Ayers. Obama's old buddy. Which fits since Obama (and Pelosi too) endorsed the gang at Zucotti Park.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joan

    These are Occupy Riot People.... Nice Leftist group.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  10. jimez3

    This is probably another story where these guys get let go with probation for 5 years and 100 hours of AA classes. Here are all the reasons why.
    1. jobless trouble kids in America
    2. Illegal aliens took their jobs.
    3. The violent video games
    4. Rise by a single parent
    5. Did not attended bible study
    6. Obama is President
    7. They kids where acting “Self defense”

    May 1, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim Wiley

      They look like Christian & Jewish terrorist joined Ted Kaczynski terror on America.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • January24

      "Occupy" crowd, Jimez.

      They don't need a reason except that they hate capitalism (despite its having given them computers and smart phones).

      These are the darlings of the Left. Making bombs since the era of William Ayers - running buddy of your president.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. very weird

    It stinks of a Republican production to shake Obama feel of security in this Country.. laughable

    May 1, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • huh?

      Yeah, you figured it all out...tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorist fool.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  12. RogerKorby

    The GOP incites this type of behavior.......

    May 1, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Joan

      They were Occupy leftist stupid....

      May 1, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • huh?

      Sure...ignore the extreme leftists that are trying to blow up the bridge, and somehow, blame it on the GOP. You are garbage.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • huh

      why would 5 people want to blow up a bridge? dont make no sense .... 0.o ....unless someone had paid them to..... to blow up a bridge for free? 0.o ... makes no sense

      May 1, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • January24


      That round thing on top of your shoulders? It's called a "head." It was supposed to come with a brain inside. Check to see if yours did.

      Or maybe you left it behind by accident at Zucotti Park and just haven't missed it until now.

      These are OCCUPIERS. Darlings of the LEFT.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. sharmilhassan

    So why don't they refer to them as terrorists. Is it because of their race or their nationality?

    May 1, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob Loblaw

      yes,. there's your answer... don't like it? hit the road.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      I also notice how their not being called terrorist at all...... but let this have been done by a group of ANY other race then well see all kinds of names and excuses ranging from Al-Qaeda to Obama in the White house. No no these are White Americans with the intent of destruction, weather they are left wing, right wing, independant the fact of the matter is they were intent on destroying a public structure that well in doubt would have caused the injurires (if not deaths) of hundreds of people attempting to cross that bridge. Yet I have this sad feeling that they're going to walk on this one....... I hope I'm wrong.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Shameus

    Another reminder that terrorism can come from anywhere.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  15. Shaun

    No Jason, but media love to use the word MUSLIM TERRORIST. Why these people are anarchists? Why not TERRORIST? What church they belong to? Who are the parents? I love to know all the details. Am I dreaming? Media always biased.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • pablo4200

      The are terrorists. Their church is Occupy.

      May 2, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
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