1. Brandon Baxter, 20
Brandon Baxter, Anthony Hayne and Douglas Wright were arrested today by federal agents in a sting operation and have been charged with conspiracy and trying to use explosives to damage property affecting interstate commerce. Connor Stevens and Joshua Stafford were also arrested, but have not yet been charged.
“The individuals charged in this plot were intent on using violence to express their ideological views,” said Special Agent Stephen Anthony, who oversees the FBI’s Cleveland division.
2. Anthony Hayne, 35
Authorities allege the 5 men were plotting to blow up the Route 82 Brecksville-Northfield High Level Bridge, a four lane highway that crosses over part of the Cuyahoga National Park, about 15 miles south of Cleveland.
“The complaint in this case alleges that the defendants took specific and defined actions to further a terrorist plot,” said Steven Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
3. Douglas Wright, 26
The five suspects are self-identified anarchists and have affiliated themselves with the Occupy Cleveland movement. They came to the attention of agents when an unidentified informant noticed Wright, Baxter and Hayne acting strangely at an Occupy Cleveland protest in October. The source described them as wearing masks, talking on walkie talkies and openly discussing their disdain for peaceful protest.
Organizers of Occupy Cleveland have disavowed any connection with the suspects or their plot.
4. Joshua Stafford, 23
The informant learned from the three men that they were planning a series of disruptive events in order to — according to the informant — “send a message to corporations.” An early plot was to detonate smoke bombs on the busy Veterans Memorial Bridge in Cleveland. While police were distracted, the suspects would knock bank signs off of tall buildings.
Undercover FBI agents introduced themselves to the group, now joined by Wright and Stevens, and offered to assist them with obtaining material for their plots.
5. Connor Stevens, 20
Eventually the group settled on simply blowing up a bridge and asked the undercover agents for plastic explosives. On Sunday, April 29th, the group paid agents $450 for what they believed were two homemade bombs. The bombs were in actuality duds.
All five men were arrested yesterday, April 30th, on what was going to be the day of their attack. The FBI does not believe the date of the attack was meant to coincide with the anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden.
Whether or not it was meant to coincide with the May Day and General Strike protests being planned by the Occupy movement on May 1st is still unknown.
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