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. waterman

    The FBI should be praised when they do a good job, like in this case. Foiled attempts like this don't get much publicity or rewards, but they are as important as all the scrutiny after failed detection.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  2. Uzair

    Oh, Amit got some agenda here, offcourse since he belong to the radical hindu terrorist group RSS whose leader is banned to enter in US.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  3. sbp

    Look at the mugshots. These aren't Tea Monkeys or OWS. They look like they couldn't piece together a single brain between them. Calling them mentally challenged would be an insult to the mentally challenged.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Popular

      What are you talking about? they look exactly like occupy park dwellers after a 3 month sleepover.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  4. Mr. Popular

    Occupy shows it's true face... no surprise to me.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • semipenultimate

      Truly, the actions of five morons entrapped by the FBI means that the millions of Occupy supporters are anarchists of Vanzettian scale.

      Does your assertion also mean that the massacre perpetrated by Anders Behring Breivik means that Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Pamela Geller, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck should be jailed immediately?

      The knife cuts both ways.

      May 1, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. KC

    These boys look like they LIVE under a bridge.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  6. wes

    Combined IQ of 4

    May 1, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  7. huglynot

    The one all the way on the right, and the far left are guilty. I dont know about the rest.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  8. BK

    This is just a bunch of crap. There are always FBI agents around to give them everything they need and then arrest them. They must keep the war on America going so NDAA, PAtriot Act, CISPA can be utilized. These morons can't do anything without the FBI's help.

    BS....Do not fall for this crap!!

    May 1, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Orwell

      ive never agreed more. this is ridiculous. they wanted to take down a billboard and somehow the fbi gets involved and they wanna blow up a bridge?

      May 1, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. d-dub

    fox news will keep this on the down low cant use there scare tatics there to white

    May 1, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Bubba

      FOX will say they are Democrats from Kenya and that the bridge was actually blown up. Their viewers will never question it.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Chip Smith

      There, Their, They're

      Why is this so hard?

      May 1, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  10. Bubba

    "radical leftist anarcharchists" What the heck is that supposed to mean? Would they be different from radical right-wing anarcharchists? Maybe an 'anarch-archist' would want anarchy strictly enforced by a series of harsh laws? Just call them 'emos' and get on with the trial.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  11. JJ

    Nevermind islamophobia. It's time for whitetrashophobia.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      Last 20 years:
      Islamists – 800,000 kills
      white rightwingers – 474 kills

      May 1, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Than we need to fence in Cleveland as well as Detroit.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  12. williamjohnson007

    Ever notice how none of these plots would EVER happen if the FBI didn't provide them with weapons/explosives/money/motivation?

    May 1, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Bubba

      "Ever notice how none of these plots would EVER happen if the FBI didn't provide them with weapons/explosives/money/motivation?" They might actually manage to set fire to someone's shoes or scare someone out in front of a bus, or run over a kid while driving away from an unexplodable bomb. Better to let them hang themselves and pick them all up.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Ripley

      I was thinking the same thing – If the FBI hadn't given them a place to purchase the phony C4s, they may have never planted anything there in the first place. Granted, they may have found someone else and a legitimate source for the explosives, but as soon as the FBI was aware of WHY they were trying to buy those explosives, it should have been over. They should never have been allowed to get as far as planting the devices.

      May 1, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  13. wes

    Could not on the best day of their lives spell anarchy if you spotted them the first 6 letters

    May 1, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  14. CA Liberal

    You know I have a real problem with these fake terrorists busts. The FBI finds some bunch of dumb yokuls and they sell them fake guns and fake bombs. The FBI then helps them with the plans gives them ideas. Basically the FBI sets the whole plan up and pushes these dummies into doing this. Then when they try-and it doesn't work-the FBI arrests them and goes to the news and announces they have found some terrorists and arrested them and what a great job we're doing aren't we. It's all complete BS.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  15. Nice

    So basically the FBI took a loose organization of fools that probably would have never been able to accomplish thier innitial goal which was not really malicious (albiet stupid) and gave them fake explosives and said have fun?

    I totally understand that these people are responsible for thier actions, and they are now lawfully going to stand trial as they should, but my question is, why is the entire thing necessary at all? Personally I'm surprised Obama didn't have them gunned down because they are no more innocent than Anwar Al-Awlaki and they blew him and his juvenile American son to tiny bits.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
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