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It hasn’t even been a year since Anders Behring Breivik detonated a bomb in Olso, Norway in order to kill eight individuals, and then brutally shot and murdered 69 others, and already five other men are following in his footsteps, as well as in those of the infamous Oklahoma city bomber, Timothy McVeigh. All of these men also have something in common: they are all anarchists. The only difference: while Breivik and McVeigh’s bombs detonated according to plan, the five men from Cleveland, Ohio were unsuccessful.
The five men have since been identified as Douglas Wright, 26; Brandon Baxter, 20; Anthony Hayne, 35; Joshua Stafford, 23 and Connor Stevens, 20. As of Monday the men were arrested and taken into custody while they await trial.
The Associated Press reported that “federal authorities on Tuesday described the men as anarchists who are angry with corporate America and the government and unknowingly worked with an FBI informant for months as they crafted and carried out their plan.”
According to the information released thus far, the men received the explosives from an undercover employee. The ‘explosives’ were then placed at the bottom of the bridge ( approximately 15 miles from downtown) that oversees the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Once the men left the scene, they attempted to detonate the explosives by using a “text message detonation code.”
The men were easy to track down, and were arrested that evening. According to the FBI, they have been following these men for some time now. FBI agents have been creating fake terrorist plots in order to find these suspects. As for preventing terrorism, the government considers this one of the top strategies in catching terrorists.
“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 said Tuesday.
Additionally, according to court documents, the police had been secretly recording them as their suspicions of the suspects grew. During one conversation, Brandon Baxter was found saying, “Taking out a bridge in the business district would cost the … corporate big wigs a lot of money.” The Associated Press explained that this was “because it would cause structural damage and prevent people from going to work.”
All five men have been charged with attempting to destroy property in interstate commerce and conspiracy. They made an appearance in the U.S. District Court last Tuesday, and were then taken to jail without the possibility of receiving bail. The men were facing penalties of up to 20 years in prison, but after their court hearing on Monday, another charge has been added: attempted use of a mass destruction weapon. If the men are convicted, they are facing a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.