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Government and Politics

Affidavit: Cleveland fed, casino considered for anarchist targets
FBI says five men began planning violence as early as October

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
In The Region:

The five men accused of trying to blow up the Route 82 bridge over the Cuyahoga Valley National Park had considered targets ranging from the Federal Reserve bank in downtown Cleveland to the opening of the city’s new casino.

That’s according to the affidavit filed by the FBI when it revealed the charges against the five this morning.

The affidavit also says the five – Douglas Wright, Brandon Baxter, Anthony Hayney, Connor Stevens and Joshua Stafford – were disgusted with the pacifist message of what turned out to be an Occupy Cleveland event last October.

The government’s case is built largely on informants, one of whom was allegedly hired by the group to supply C-4 explosives to blow up the bridge.

U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach outlined the FBI’s case.

DETTELBACH outlines the case

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“The defendants chose the target. The defendants went to the bridge to do recon. The defendants went to a hotel room to purchase what they thought were C-4 explosives,” Dettelbach said. And Monday night,  “the defendants  planted the explosives at the base of the bridge … went to remote site and they then, sitting there, entered the codes that they thought would blow up a bridge with innocent people traveling over it.” 

The five have been charged with conspiracy and attempted use of explosive materials. Dettelbach says the material they thought was C-4 was a fake and no one was ever in danger. 

Here is the statement from the Occupy Cleveland movement following the arrest of five men accused of trying to blow up a bridge in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park last night. The five apparently attended Occupy Cleveland events but disagreed with the group's pacifist message.

"While the group arrested Monday evening by the FBI were associated with Occupy Cleveland they were in no way representing or acting on behalf of Occupy Cleveland or the event that was planned for later today at the GE Lighting building. 
"The May Day Event that was sponsored by Occupy Cleveland, the North Shore AFL-CIO, Cleveland Jobs with Justice, Fight for a Fair Economy and SEIU Local 1 has been cancelled because of the alleged actions of the autonomous group arrested last night.  Occupy Cleveland has had affirmed principles of non-violence since its inception on October 6, 2011."

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