CLEVELAND (KDKA) – Authorities in Ohio have arrested five men in connection with a plot to blow up a bridge outside of Cleveland.
The Justice Department said the five men are self-described anarchists and are not tied to international terrorism.
“All five co-conspirators were taken into custody last night by the FBI and JTTF shortly after they attempted to remotely detonate these inert devices,” FBI Special Agent Steve Anthony said.
Ranging in ages from 20 to 35, the five men came to the attention of the FBI last fall.
“The joint terrorism task force received intelligence that a small number of individuals were intent on conducting violence and destruction of property,” Anthony said.
The FBI said the suspects considered using smoke bombs in downtown Cleveland to distract police while they tore down financial institution signs.
“The plotting of these individuals continue to evolve and eventually came to be centered on a use of explosives,” he said.
They settled on a high-level bridge 15 miles south of Cleveland.
“They ultimately negotiated with FBI undercover agents and purchased two inert – I say inert – improvised explosive devices,” Anthony continued.
Authorities say the suspects never possessed any real explosive material at any time.
“Last night, the co-conspirators placed the two inert IEDs at the base of a concrete support pillar for this Brecksville-Northfield high level bridge and attempted to remotely detonate the devices from the location that they deemed safe and one that would possibly give them an alibi,” Anthony said.