Five anarchists arrested in alleged plot to blow up bridge — Cleveland, OH
Five men, including self-proclaimed anarchists, have been arrested in a sting operation in which they allegedly tried to blow up a bridge outside Cleveland, the FBI says.
The suspects allegedly tried to bomb the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Brecksville Station by remote control using C-4 plastic explosives.
The alleged plot was not tied to international terrorism, the FBI says.
Update at 10:51 a.m. ET: FBI officials tells reporters today that the suspects allegedly bought what they thought were devices made of C-4 plastic explosives, but which had been rendered inert by the FBI.
An FBI official says two of the alleged co-conspirators placed two of the devices at the base of a concrete support pillar for the bridge on Monday night.
The official says the pair “attempted to remotely detonate the devices from a location that they deemed safe and would possibly give them an alibi.”
Update at 10:26 a.m. ET: The FBI says in a news release that Douglas L. Wright, 26, Brandon L. Baxter, 20, and Anthony Hayne, 35, were arrested by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force on April 30 on charges of conspiracy and attempted use of explosive materials to damage physical property affecting interstate commerce, WKYC reports.
The FBI describes them as “self-proclaimed anarchists.”
Charges against two other men, Connor C. Stevens, 20, and Joshua S. Stafford, 23, are pending.
The arrests came as part of an FBI sting and federal officials say there ws never any danger to the public.
The FBI says the explosive devices to be used in the alleged plot were in the control of an undercover FBI agent and were inoperable. The five were also under close surveillance, the FBI says, according to WKYC.
The FBI says Wright, Baxter and Hayne allegedly formed into the group and had considered a series of evolving plots over several months.
An initial plot involved using smoke grenades to distract police in order for co-conspirators to topple the signs of financial institutions on high- rise buildings in downtown Cleveland, the FBI says, according to the WKYC report.
Update at 10:13 a.m. ET: CNN reports that the FBI says the suspects allegedly planned to detonate a C-4 plastic explosives device on the bridge by remote control. In addition, the FBI says, they allegedly planned to use smoke bombs to divert police attention.
Update at 10:08 a.m. ET: Fox News reports that the arrests followed a sting operation and that the explosives involved in the alleged plot had been made inoperable. The public was not in danger, the sources close to the investigation tell Fox News.
Fox also reports that charges were filed against the defendants this morning in Cleveland.