The Route 82 bridge is about 10 minutes from downtown Cleveland, and crosses from Brecksville to Sagamore Hills.
KEVIN ‘CHILL’ HEARD
Five Caucasian men, four in their 20s, and one age 35, have been arrested by the FBI in connection to a plot to blow up the Ohio route 82 bridge. Apparently they were attempting to blow up the bridge that extends over the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in the Brecksville area. It is reported that the group’s members are self-proclaimed anarchists who were putting explosives under the overpass to be remotely detonated as part of a May Day protest.
The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force has arrested Douglas Wright, 26; Brandon L. Baxter, 20; Anthony Hayne, 35; Connor Stevens, 20; and Joshua Stafford, 23. The Bureau of Investigation said the C-4 explosives to be used in the plot were under the control of an undercover FBI agent and were not actually operable. Federal authorities said three of the men, Baxter, Wright and Hayne, were arrested on charges of conspiracy and trying to use explosives to damage property affecting interstate commerce. As of press time charges were pending against the other two men. The FBI also said the alleged plot was not tied to international terrorism.
Though May Day conjures notions of Maypole celebrations, acknowledging changing seasons, its celebration has been known as an extent past the Christian era. As an American holiday it is tied to workers’ rights and labor, but has also been celebrated by such self-proclaimed anarchists. It is not known if the five men’s actions were tied to “Occupy Wall Street” plans for nationwide protests Tuesday.
The arrests Monday evening show that “the threat we face is a diverse one and terrorists can come from many hues and many homelands,” said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
“Despite the defendants’ worst intentions and aims during the entire course of yesterday’s operation, the public was never in danger,” Dettelbach said. “The defendants never possessed at any time any really explosive materials and the arrest warrants were signed before they got in the car and went to the bridge.”
The Route 82 bridge is about 10 minutes from downtownCleveland, and crosses from Brecksville to Sagamore Hills. The detonation was reportedly to take place under the bridge on theOhioand Erie Canal Towpath Trail near the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad Brecksville Station.
* Readers can follow Kevin Chill Heard on Twitter @houseofchill