Five men have been arrested by federal authorities for allegedly plotting to blow up a bridge near the U.S. city of Cleveland, Ohio.
Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Cleveland division, Stephen Anthony, says the five were taken into custody late Monday, after they attempted to remotely detonate devices they bought from undercover FBI agents.
“The individuals explored the illegal purchase of explosives, as well as the concept of using precursor chemicals and Internet knowledge to make homemade explosives. They ultimately negotiated with FBI undercover agents and purchased two inert, I say inert, improvised explosive devices, IEDs, which were presented as C-4-based remote-activated IEDs,” Anthony said.
A criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Cleveland identifies three of the suspects as “self-proclaimed anarchists.” Authorities say the men had considered a series of evolving plots over several months.
The complaint says the initial plot involved using smoke grenades to distract law enforcement so that the suspects could topple financial institution signs on top of buildings in downtown Cleveland. Later, the plot reportedly grew to include remotely detonating C-4 explosives. The final plan identified a bridge near Cleveland as the target.
Authorities say the plot is not connected to the one-year anniversary of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden’s death