CLEVELAND - Five men suspected of plotting to bomb an Ohio bridge were indicted Thursday on three counts each of conspiracy and a new charge of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction to destroy property in interstate commerce.
The men could face life in prison if convicted of trying to bomb the soaring bridge over the Cuyahoga Valley National Park at Brecksville, south of Cleveland. The bridge also crosses a scenic railway line and a canal tow path popular with joggers and bikers.
The five men, all described as anarchists, were arrested Monday night when they allegedly tried to detonate what turned out to be a dud bomb provided by an FBI undercover informant.
Those charged, all jailed since Monday, are Douglas L. Wright, 26, of Indianapolis; Brandon L. Baxter, 20, of nearby Lakewood; Connor C. Stevens, 20, of Berea; and Joshua S. Stafford, 23, and Anthony Hayne, 35, both of Cleveland.
“This indictment in this case alleges that the defendants took specific and defined actions to further a terrorist plot,’’ US Attorney Steven Dettelbach said. Prosecutors say the alleged plotters acted out of anger against corporate America and the government.
All five have been ordered held pending a preliminary hearing Monday, when a federal magistrate will take up the issue of setting bond.