"Taking out a bridge in the business district... would cost the corporate big wigs a lot of money not just because of structural damage to the bridge but because it's going to stop a lot of people going to work," Brandon Baxter, 20, allegedly said in a secretly recorded conversation.
Apparently an informant alerted the FBI after the 'anarchist five' complained about their cohorts not wanting to "act violently", not enough action I guess, and so the group was infiltrated back in October by the Feds. For months they plotted how best to harm "Corporate America and the financial system,", they purchased explosives (which they had no clue did not work) and fretted about which target would be best:
They initially plotted to distract the police with smoke grenades while knocking signs off bank buildings, but decided there weren't enough people in Cleveland willing to participate in a riot.
Some of the other plots discussed were: targeting the headquarters of a neo-Nazi or Ku Klux Clan group; attacking a hospital or bank with stink bombs, explosives or paint guns; sinking a cargo ship; derailing a train; and action at the G8 summit in Chicago or the Republican convention in Florida.
They eventually settled on the plot to blow up a bridge that spans the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, although they had also discussed blowing up a bridge downtown.
Once the decision was made, they asked the informant to help them obtain the explosive materials and riot gear. Wright, naturally, said he could raise the funds selling pot. Even though they claimed they were not terrorists and didn't want to physically harm anyone, use of explosives anywhere leaves the possibility of injury.
They were arrested and charged with "conspiracy and attempted use of explosive materials to damage physical property affecting interstate commerce", after they attempted to detonate the inoperable bombs, which means prosecutors won't have too much trouble getting them a nice 8x12 in the slammer.
"The complaint in this case alleges that the defendants took specific and defined actions to further a terrorist plot," said Steven Dettelbach, US Attorney for the northern district of Ohio.
"The defendants stand charged based not upon any words or beliefs they might espouse, but based upon their own plans and actions."