Skip to comments.FBI says Occupy Cleveland not under investigation though suspects were actively involved in group.
Posted on 05/01/2012 2:26:23 PM PDT by Las Vegas Dave
CLEVELAND, Ohio FBI officials today said that while the members of a group arrested in an attempt to blow up a bridge over the Cuyahoga Valley National Park were also involved in the Occupy Cleveland movement, that organization is not under federal investigation.
"Let me be clear, the FBI and Department of Justice are not conducting an investigation of any specific group," said Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. "We do not investigate movements or groups, we investigate individuals."
The Occupy movement is never identified by name in the affidavit filed by federal officials today, but interviews have since indicated that the five arrested had been involved with and somewhat dissatisfied with the Occupy Cleveland movement in Public Square.
Still, that the five men arrested were connected with that movement including attending an Oct. 21, 2011, event on Clevelands Public Square had caused ripples throughout the day.
The group also issued a statement Monday, saying that while the group arrested Monday evening by the FBI were associated with Occupy Cleveland, they were in no way representing or acting on behalf of Occupy Cleveland or the event that was planned for later today at the GE Lighting building."
The May Day event at GE was sponsored by Occupy Cleveland, the North Shore AFL-CIO, Cleveland Jobs with Justice, Fight for a Fair Economy and SEIU Local 1, the statement said. The event was cancelled, however, because of the alleged actions of the autonomous group arrested (Monday) night, the statement said, adding that Occupy Cleveland has had affirmed principles of non-violence since its inception on October 6, 2011.
"Today's event Occupy GE (General Electric) was canceled because there were rumors these guys were involved, said Debbie Kline of Jobs with Justice. They were NEVER at the table.
Its been over a month we've been planning this. We will do this in the future. We'll do this again. But it would have been in bad taste to do today."
Bomb plot suspect Brandon Baxter came to a Jobs with Justice spring training event this year to learn about non-violent action, she said.
"When you're in a movement, you can't kick people out when they are volunteers," Kline said. "These five were acting on their own, they didn't have any part of the greater movement."
"There are fringey people all over the place."
View full sizeThomas Ondrey, The Plain DealerThe Ohio 82 bridge as it crosses the Cuyahoga River in Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Brecksville. The FBI arrested five men this week in connection with a plot to blow up the bridge today for May Day protests.
The FBI arrested Baxter and four others 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
Also arrested by the FBIs Joint Terrorism Task Force and charged with conspiracy and attempted use of explosive materials were: Douglas Wright, 26 and Anthony Hayne, 35.
Wright had also talked about "getting a car that they can drive into the Federal Reserve Bank" in Cleveland to blow it up, according to an affidavit from FBI Special Agent Ryan Taylor. (See the affidavit in the DocumentCloud reader below.)
Despite the defendants worst intentions and aims during the entire course of yesterdays operation, the public was never in danger, Dettelbach said. The defendants never possessed at any time any really explosive materials and the arrests warrants were signed before they got in the car and went to the bridge.
Also arrested, but not charged, were Connor Stevens, 20 and Joshua Stafford, 23. Anthony said Stevens and Stafford were currently being charged, officials said.
Meanwhile, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park issued a news release this afternoon saying that park rangers worked with FBI during the course of the investigation and that park visitors were not at risk during the operation.
At no time were the Brecksville Station or the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad considered targets for the plot, the news release said.
The national park encompasses 33,000 acres along the Cuyahoga River between Cleveland and Akron, Ohio.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson also issued the following statement: I would like to express my appreciation to FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen D. Anthony and the Cleveland Office of the FBI for their diligence in identifying and exposing a potential threat to our community, and for keeping Cleveland's safety leadership informed on the progress of the investigation.
Reporter Rachel Dissell contributed to this story.
The Ohio 82 bridge as it crosses the Cuyahoga River in Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Brecksville.
The FBI arrested five men this week in connection with a plot to blow up the bridge today for May Day protests.
What? Why the hell isn't it?
..can’t have the FBI investigating one of Pelosi’s groups she supports.....she said so
Nothing fishy there. They still investigating Brietbart?
When I was in college, I had a professor who was considered something of a radical. I remember he once mentioned that he would sometimes by followed by the KKK, but then they would be followed by the FBI. Sort of a little parade.
I later read that there were actually more FBI agents investigating the Klan than there were members of the Klan. I suspect they were investigating groups but I must be wrong.
I remember once that an entire operation by some rightwing group had been conducted by FBI informants. There were so many of them that some did not know what the others were doing.
I’m guessing the FBI was heavily involved and watching the group all along.
If that is not the case then Ameridca is in deep doo doo.
Because they're Federal contractors.
Well, it could be true. But it could equally be disinformation if they really are looking into the group.
The Feds lie as easily as you and I breathe.
“Let me be clear, the FBI and Department of Justice are not conducting an investigation of any specific group,”
Well.....unless we find somebody tied to the Tea Party......
Dettelbach is an obama appointee
Occupy violence is flaring up all over the country but those dang TEA Partiers are the domestic terrorists
“We do not investigate movements or groups, we investigate individuals.”
It’s hard to fix stupid!
Working for the FBI nowadays must be like the fictional inspector character Arkady Renko, in the novels by Martin Cruz Smith.
A good man in a corrupt, political situation.
No I don’t know why the “don’t blow the whistle” if they are “good men”.
Ah, the FBI and the JustUs department. Obama’s toilet paper.