Breaking: Anarchist ring busted by feds, plotted bombings in Cleveland

posted at 1:11 pm on May 1, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Today is May Day, the traditional Communist holiday celebrating the proletariat, and the Occupy movement has busied itself with protests all over the country to mark the occasion.  In Cleveland, a few of them tried going a little farther than throwing paint at police stationsThe FBI announced today that they arrested five “anarchists” last night after breaking up a conspiracy to blow up a Cuyahoga bridge and four other targets today:

The FBI arrested five men Monday evening, saying they had planted what were believed to be explosive devices under the Ohio 82 bridge over Cuyahoga Valley National Park as part of a May Day protest today.

The five men were “self-proclaimed anarchists,” who intended to detonate two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) under the bridge in Sagamore Hills, but had purchased the inert devices from undercover FBI agents, officials said.

Arrested by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and charged with conspiracy and attempted use of explosive materials were: Douglas Wright, 26; Brandon L. Baxter, 20; and Anthony Hayne, 35.

That wasn’t the only action they planned:

According to an affidavit, various members of the group — three of which had been charged early today and two others were were being charged — had also talked about attacking or detonating explosives at the following:

  • The Federal Reserve Bank in Cleveland
  • The Justice Center in Cleveland
  • A Cuyahoga County Homeland Security operation called the Northeast Ohio Regional Fusion Center.
  • An unidentified Ku Klux Klan location in Ohio
  • An Interstate 480 bridge known as the Valley View bridge.

Members of the group also talked about putting smoke grenades on the Veterans Memorial Bridge (Detroit-Superior Bridge) in Cleveland as a diversion while they “knocked the bank signs off the tops of the larger buildings in downtown Cleveland,” the affidavit states.

They also proposed  “to detonate explosives on … the Cuyahoga River in order to sink a cargo ship,” the document says.

Over at Breitbart, Dan Riehl says the names of the suspects should be familiar.  At least two of them are known as Occupy organizers:

One of the leaders of the Occupy Cleveland movement, Brandon Baxter, is one of those arrested for today’s terrorist plot to bomb a bridge in Cleveland. Occupier Brandon Baxter appears to have gotten the guidance he sought.

OCCUPIED — Occupy Cleveland organizer Brandon Baxter gets some shade in the Occupy Cleveland tent in downtown Cleveland on March 21, 2012. Baxter, one of the few remaining members of Occupy Cleveland’s physical presence downtown, said the group has seen a sharp decline in numbers since last October because of increasing disorganization. “We need guidance,” he said.

Another of today’s suspects is Anthony Hayne, named previously in a report on Occupy Cleveland.

“I just want to be very clear: we are not occupying Lakewood,” said Anthony Hayne, who is organizing the information session. Hayne, a Lakewood resident since 2001, said there will be about six or seven members of Occupy Cleveland, which stems from the Occupy Wall Street movement, at the table Saturday.

A Brandon Baxter got mentioned in a March report on an arrest at an Occupy protest in Cleveland, too:

Brandon Baxter of Lakewood said he had no regrets for making sure people heard the message.

“I took the risk of getting arrested because I feel the powers that be, whoever they might be — on all levels of government and those who hold corporate power — are not listening because not enough people are actually taking a stance” against foreclosures, he said. “I was hoping that this would be a great way to get Cleveland more involved by showing the potential that a small group of dedicated people can have in making an impact. Even though we are not in any government position or in Congress, we do have the power.”

Assuming this is the same Brandon Baxter, he got a fine of $100 for his involvement in that incident.  Something tells me this one will cost him a lot more.  We’ll add more as the story develops.


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Er, I voted for Harry Browne (RIP) in 2000.

In the past 12 years libertarianism has fallen a long way.

Del Dolemonte on May 1, 2012 at 2:22 PM

In 2000, one of my best friends told me he was considering voting for Gore because he didn’t like GWB. After scarily finding out that he previously had voted for Wellstone, Clinton, and Jesse Ventura as well, I made it my duty to make sure he wouldn’t vote for Gore. So, I had him take an online political test which helped him identify what his actual camp was, as I knew he wasn’t a Lefty. He voted for Harry in 2000, and he’s voted Libertarian ever since then, thankfully (better that than Democrat!)

My political motto is, do ANYTHING you can to deprive the Left of a vote! :)

Bizarro No. 1 on May 1, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Well, this is certainly going to help Obama win Ohio…..NOT!!
rockmom on May 1, 2012 at 1:55 PM

First he gets Four Pinocchios for a Ohio bridge fable, now this. Oh well, he has valiantly “slipped in to Afghanistan” on the anniversary of his gutsy call so the election’s pretty much been decided./

Buy Danish on May 1, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Hey anarchists!

If you destroy the government who’s going to pay for your Free Healthcare?

Birth control doesn’t grow on trees, you know.

Lily on May 1, 2012 at 1:41 PM

LOL- You are on a roll today!

Night Owl on May 1, 2012 at 3:49 PM

Using the unassailable journalistic standards developed during the rise of the tea party movement, we can only conclude that these young men were incited to violence by the eliminationist, hateful rhetoric of the Occupy movement and their enablers in the Democratic party.

tomwinfl on May 1, 2012 at 3:50 PM

I don’t see how that’s going to work, whether you’ve contracted the security or employ them. You might get away with it for a short time, especially if the neighbors aren’t armed, but that force is not going to be larger than the greater population. And as the saying goes, an armed society is a polite society.

I do remember some of those games. It was chess or a chess-like game, right?

Dante on May 1, 2012 at 3:41 PM

The Light & Dark game was first to introduce the race, yeah, but there were others. In any case, I was grateful to finally learn what the word actually means. :)

My point regarding the slaves was that an anarcho-capitalist society will promptly deteriorate into early-stage feudalism, in which one’s ability to subjugate one’s neighbors is only limited by the size of one’s contractual military force. That is definitely not a society I would contemplate turning America into.

Archivarix on May 1, 2012 at 3:54 PM

In the past 12 years libertarianism has fallen a long way.

Del Dolemonte on May 1, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Now that I can agree with you on. It’s downright depressing how big legalized wh0res and pot have become in the libertarian party. Their economic positions were often close to that of conservative ones I felt right at home for awhile…

MelonCollie on May 1, 2012 at 3:57 PM

No one is coercing you into anything in an anarcho-capitalist system, and no one will punish you for being successful. It’s all you.

thirtyandseven on May 1, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Let’s say a community builds a bridge. Who is allowed to use it? Only those who paid for it? Who decides these things, since there is no hierarchy?

Gelsomina on May 1, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Time to rebrand for the occupy movement.

What do they occupy when they plan to destroy?

Obowma and Pelousy are so proud of them.

dthorny on May 1, 2012 at 4:17 PM

If you don’t know the difference between libertarians and anarchists, you really shouldn’t bother to discuss politics at all.

MadisonConservative on May 1, 2012 at 1:59 PM

You’ll have to forgive some of us. We are still working to absorb the new meaning of the term “conservative”. :)

Night Owl on May 1, 2012 at 4:18 PM

It isn’t.

Anarcho-libertarianism, like communism, requires an entire population of perfect humans.
It is as impossible as a skittle defecating unicorn.

That nutballs, like dante, preach it shows just how impossible that is.

cozmo on May 1, 2012 at 2:29 PM

I don’t believe communism or (especially) anarcho-libertarianism could ever satisfactorily measure up to their advocates’ lofty ideals even with perfect humans – no matter what the political system, people naturally are going to have differences of opinion regarding freedom about every topic under the sun which will end up requiring some kind of (non-unanimous) compromise with others, including property zoning, sex acts in public, and hunting restrictions, that are inevitably going to result in displeasure and cries of “Fascism!” somewhere down the line…

Bizarro No. 1 on May 1, 2012 at 4:22 PM

You’ll have to forgive some of us. We are still working to absorb the new meaning of the term “conservative”. :)

Night Owl on May 1, 2012 at 4:18 PM

I’m not dismissing the notion that ideologies adapt and evolve as history passes, but if one is unable to tell the difference between limited government and no government whatsoever, what are they doing on a political website?

MadisonConservative on May 1, 2012 at 4:22 PM

In Russia and China they call them: Communist

In America, they call them: Democrats

Axion on May 1, 2012 at 4:28 PM

Time to rebrand for the occupy movement.
What do they occupy when they plan to destroy?

dthorny on May 1, 2012 at 4:17 PM

They will eventually occupy penitentiary facilities, I hope.

Archivarix on May 1, 2012 at 4:29 PM

MadisonConservative on May 1, 2012 at 4:22 PM

I cannot remember the place in London, but I visited almost every day I was there.

It is a little wall that any idiot can stand on and spout whatever nonsense they want.

This, along with many others probably, is that place for dante.

cozmo on May 1, 2012 at 4:30 PM

cozmo on May 1, 2012 at 4:30 PM

He wouldn’t bother. It’s too risky. He might actually have to address someone who challenges him, rather than dodging over and over until he finally flees for his life.

MadisonConservative on May 1, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Democrats and leftists: Please STOP your destructive war on America.

Allendundit on May 1, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Today, Anarchy is in complete… er… anarchy after a few anarchists got arrested for trying to blow-up a bridge.

This is the kind of news you just can’t make up.

Turtle317 on May 1, 2012 at 4:57 PM

Still waiting for the first acknowledgement in major media that these guys had significant links to Occupy Cleveland. So far, crickets.

tomwinfl on May 1, 2012 at 4:58 PM

Had they actually bombed the bridge, no one would notice for probably a week or two. Seriously, why are we even defending Cleveland from terrorist attacks. The city is a ghost town and even if they detonated a nuke downtown there would be maybe 15 people injured.

thphilli on May 1, 2012 at 2:49 PM

These will always be 2 of the best videos on the Internet (especially “2nd Attempt”): HASTILY MADE CLEVELAND TOURISM VIDEO

Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism Video: 2nd Attempt

[This great, related video thrown in for fun]: Mike Polk’s tribute to TNT’s coverage of the NBA playoffs

Plug for Cleveland: I was there for a friend’s wedding during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s opening weekend in 1993, and because of the way I dress, everywhere we went people came up to me and asked me if I was there for the opening. I’ve been to 41 of the 57 states, and I can say that I have never met friendlier people in the US than I did in Cleveland. :)

Bizarro No. 1 on May 1, 2012 at 4:58 PM

Occupoopers gone bad.

FlaMurph on May 1, 2012 at 5:13 PM

“Despite the defendants’ worst intentions and aims during the entire course of yesterday’s operation, the public was never in danger…”

Is there an echo in here?

Gee, what if these Occupy guys had been smart enough to have an alternate or back-up explosives supplier? A ‘commute’ could have been ‘disrupted’ anyway in spite of ‘inert’ devices — doesn’t sound very deadly, does it?

I see disrupted commuters…

One of these days, one of these ‘stings’ is going to spin out of the FBI’s control. Ever heard of Fast & Furious?

The more the FBI does this sort of near-entrapment for publicity, the smarter the bad buys are going to get. They reads the internets, too.

Just goes to show ya, your attorney needs to have video of your primary vendors in commission of a dangerous, major felony before they are certified to sell you materials for disrupting commuters.

I wonder how the FBI picked & trolled their targets? Clicked ‘comment’ on some Occupy web sites?

Stupid is as stupid does.

ElRonaldo on May 1, 2012 at 5:14 PM

listens2glenn on May 1, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Again, based on past conversations, I figure you are injecting the supernatural into this in reference to “our current state of condition”.

The “common good”, though, is collectivist talk – leftist talk. We are discussing systems based on the individual.

But, no, I wasn’t referring to jo no government at all. I was actually thinking about the right of an individual to live his life without infringing in another’s rights. But now that you mention it, as long as government exists, no man can truly be free.

Dante on May 1, 2012 at 3:12 PM

.
Strictly speaking, I guess I was injecting the supernatural into this.
No man is truly free in this condition/environment; with or without government.
No man is free, without recognition of . . . . . . . . . God.

There, I said it. : )

listens2glenn on May 1, 2012 at 5:22 PM

In Russia and China they call them: Communist

In America, they call them: Democrats

Axion on May 1, 2012 at 4:28 PM

.
Ooooh, ouch.

That’s gotta hurt.

listens2glenn on May 1, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Had they actually bombed the bridge, no one would notice for probably a week or two. Seriously, why are we even defending Cleveland from terrorist attacks. The city is a ghost town and even if they detonated a nuke downtown there would be maybe 15 people injured.

thphilli on May 1, 2012 at 2:49 PM

This bridge is actually in Brecksville, a beautiful suburb about 15 miles south of Cleveland. And just for the record, while the city of Cleveland proper has become “a ghost town” there are still plenty of people who come in from the suburbs to work at places like Cleveland State University, Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic. I am one of them. This event scared the heck out of me. No city deserves to be bombed and its population terrorized or killed…even Kucinich Land. We are grateful that the local Feds were on the ball.

http://www.woio.com/story/18000235/just-in

…and tonight will our Feckless Leader speak out against any of these May-day Occupiers? Not likely…he has a photo-op in Afghanistan to occupy.

EternalVigilance on May 1, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Hey Ed, I’m feeling left out. We have our own Angry Anarchists Angrily Anarchying here in lil ol Seattle. Windows broken, tear gas, Wells Fargo Banks closing multiple branches, bicyclers amassing (oh the horror) and Porches being spray painted! Even our own Mayor McBike is a bit overwhelmed! Glad I left town early this am.

DoubleClutchin on May 1, 2012 at 6:21 PM

I posted the information about the two guys arrested being “organizers” in the Occupy movement in the comments to an article on the San Francisco Chronicle site here:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2012/05/01/national/w070558D47.DTL

The article was trending in the “most read”. As soon as I posted that comment, it was immediately unlinked from the front page and from the “Nation” portion of the “News” section.

They really do not want that information to get out.

crosspatch on May 1, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Apparently, some key Occupiers are afraid of being co-opted(!) by Obama and the Dems as they believe the Tea Party movement was by the Republicans. It’s amusing on the surface, but beneath it lies the fact that that they don’t think Obama is radical enough for them.

‘Battle for the soul of Occupy’: Activists fear being ‘pulled to the right,’ becoming Democratic ‘pet’

PatriotGal2257 on May 1, 2012 at 7:55 PM

Occupiers: Socialism Today, Socialism Tomorrow, Socialism Forever….And, None Of That Pansy-As/sed Democratic-Socialism Either

Music by Rage Against the Machine

http://predicthistunpredictpast.blogspot.com/2012/05/occupiers-socialism-today-socialism.html

Resist We Much on May 1, 2012 at 8:21 PM

Those violent Tea Party people….wait…what?

SPGuy on May 1, 2012 at 9:41 PM

“God bless them.”
— Nancy “Stretch” Pelosi

Decoski on May 1, 2012 at 10:04 PM

Q: What do you get when you try to blow up a bridge in Ohio?
A: Tenure

Red State State of Mind on May 1, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Baxter, one of the few remaining members of Occupy Cleveland’s physical presence downtown, said the group has seen a sharp decline in numbers since last October because of increasing disorganization. “We need guidance,” he said.

Does anyone else see the irony of the fact this tool is asking for “guidance?” I thought some of the main premises of the OWS movement was no structure, no one in charge, a “free flowing movement” with no clear objective.

Seriously, these people are bat shiite crazy! The OWS idiots here in AZ “occupied” old town Scottsdale today…there weren’t even 20 people at the protest! Also, what’s up with this Baxter character, he’s 35 years old…he should occupy a damn job at 35 but instead he’s probably a career student still living with mommy and daddy…f-ing losers!

OWS = Obtuse Whiney Slackers!

Liberty or Death on May 1, 2012 at 10:54 PM

Future college professors. Tenure guaranteed if they move to Chicago.

badtemper on May 1, 2012 at 11:10 PM

No, I’m libertarian, but may lean anarcho-capitalist, which is arguably the most moral system.

Dante on May 1, 2012 at 1:20 PM

You know I’ve read many of your comments on other threads and you never cease to amaze me with your sharp intellect.

First of all NEVER in the history of the world has a civilization/nation/people ever had the prosperity, quality of life, opportunities, health, longevity of life that the United States and other capitalistic nations have had!

Communist countries, nations under a dictatorship, and any nation not built by a capitalistic system don’t even come close to what capitalistic nations have achieved when it comes to fostering the essential things I mentioned above that contribute to a good quality of life!

Capitalism isn’t always moral, that’s true, but no system is completely moral and I challenge you to show me an economic system that has done better than a capitalistic economic system. I doubt you can and I’ll take a capitalistic system (warts and all) over any other system any day!

Liberty or Death on May 1, 2012 at 11:22 PM

Where again is that long list of crimes committed by the Occupier movement? This will make an interesting addition to that list.

I will be waiting for the mainstream media to report this and these people’s ties to the Occupy movement in 3…2…1… nope? Oh, well. LOL!

Theophile on May 2, 2012 at 2:04 AM

Liberty or Death on May 1, 2012 at 11:22 PM

Perhaps you missed the “capitalist” part of anarcho-capitalist. It’s pretty key.

And pure capitalism is moral. Very much so (and crony capitalism is not pure capitalism). And paired with anarchist principles, it is, as I said, arguably the most moral system.

Dante on May 2, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Good debate here for those interested in learning. Here’s the Stefan Molyneux vs. Dave Nalle anarchism/minarchism debate from just days ago.

debate link

Enjoy.

Dante on May 2, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Perhaps you missed the “capitalist” part of anarcho-capitalist. It’s pretty key.

Dante on May 2, 2012 at 9:50 AM

While anarcho-capitalist sounds pretty cool, its actually an oxymoron (like jumbo shrimp). A capitalist system functions best when the rules are well laid out and everyone has a level playing field on which to compete. Juxtapose that with the aims of an anarchist, which is to create chaos in the system. It just doesn’t make sense.

dominigan on May 2, 2012 at 1:13 PM

While anarcho-capitalist sounds pretty cool, its actually an oxymoron (like jumbo shrimp). A capitalist system functions best when the rules are well laid out and everyone has a level playing field on which to compete. Juxtapose that with the aims of an anarchist, which is to create chaos in the system. It just doesn’t make sense.

dominigan on May 2, 2012 at 1:13 PM

I’m afraid you don’t have any idea what you’re talking about, nor do you understand the terms used, which is why things don’t make sense to you. Anarchism is a political (or apolitical) system, while capitalism is an economic system. The two are not opposed to each other. It’s also a bit funny that you posted this since in my link just above your post, one of the debaters has to point out that anarchy means without rulers, not without rules. Anarchy has nothing to do with creating chaos, just as capitalism has nothing to do with laid out rules.

All it takes is a willingness to open a book (or click on a link) to learn something.

Dante on May 2, 2012 at 1:59 PM

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