In typical fashion, the Federal Bureau of Investigation revealed that five self-styled left-wing anarchists arrested late Monday for allegedly trying to blow up a bridge near Cleveland were actually shepherded through every step of the supposed plot by government agents. The FBI later claimed nobody was ever in real danger because the federal government gave the alleged “terrorists” fake bombs.
The five anti-capitalist dupes – most of them in their twenties – ostensibly sought to attack the bridge in an effort to send a message and hurt the “One Percent.” Apparently they were disillusioned with the so-called “Occupy Wall Street” movement for not being violent enough in its effort to kill what little remains of the free-market system.
“They talked about making a statement against corporate America and the government as some of the motivations for their actions,” U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach explained when he announced the arrests. “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.”
The group was taken into custody on April 30. An indictment unsealed Tuesday charged them with “conspiracy” and “attempted use of explosive materials to damage property affecting interstate commerce.” A U.S. District Court Magistrate decided to jail them without a bond, at least until a hearing next week.
According to prosecutors, the five defendants allegedly planted the fake explosives provided by the FBI on the bridge late Monday. They then left the area and entered the bogus “codes” to detonate the phony “bombs” before being arrested. If convicted of the fake plot, the anarchists could face more than 20 years in prison.
Court documents cited in media reports show that the federal government first came across three of the dupes last year at a protest. The FBI then used a tax-funded “informant” – apparently a convicted felon out on probation – to infiltrate the anarchist clique and allegedly help hatch and plan fake terror attacks.
The affidavit filed in the case claimed that the alleged conspirators considered several targets including a law enforcement “fusion center” and a new casino. At least one suggested attacking neo-Nazis or a Ku Klux Klan meeting. Another potential plot they supposedly discussed involved bringing down large bank signs in Cleveland.
In the end, however – with plenty of help from the FBI – the dupes decided to go for a bridge. “Taking out a bridge in the business district would cost the … corporate big wigs a lot of money,” 20-year-old defendant Brandon Baxter allegedly said in one the recordings cited by prosecutors, claiming that blowing it up would prevent people from going to work. He later had second thoughts about it.
The purported leader of the government-controlled operation, 26-year-old Douglas Wright, was reportedly recorded by the FBI touting the bridge idea, too. The affidavit noted that Wright did not want people “to think they are terrorists, so they would want to blow up the bridge at night or possibly pretend to be a construction crew and drop orange cones off at each end of the bridge to stop traffic before blowing up the bridge, thus limiting the number of casualties and the potential for killing possible supporters.”
The defendants were indeed affiliated with the “Occupy Cleveland” movement, an off-shoot of the broader anti-market “Occupy” operation backed by billionaire George Soros. Comprised mainly of socialists, communists, labor unions, and a scruffy assortment of agitators for various causes, the controversial movement was planning a global May Day “resurgence.”
Organizers sought to spark strikes, economic disruptions, and more. And in some areas – especially in cities like Oakland, California – violence broke out, with protesters destroying private property, attacking police, and generally wreaking havoc. Most demonstrators were reportedly peaceful, and some attendees claimed “agent provocateurs” working for law enforcement were actually responsible for much of the chaos.