The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested five suspects in the Cleveland area in a sting operation for allegedly plotting a bomb attack on a local bridge, law enforcement officials said Tuesday.
The suspects were self-described anarchists who formed their own group, according to one official. The official said that during the investigation, several of the suspects repeatedly complained that the Occupy Wall Street movement, which had spread to other cities from New York, wasn't violent enough.
The group's alleged plot isn't linked to this week's anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden or to any known terror group, officials said.
The group was arrested late Monday and the charges were unsealed Tuesday, which is May Day, a day of protest for many of those involved in the Occupy movement.
The charges include conspiracy and attempted use of explosive materials to damage property affecting interstate commerce. The suspects range in age from 20 to 35.
FBI officials said no one was ever in danger from the explosive devices, because they were inoperable and under the control of an undercover FBI agent.
Over a period of several months, officials said, three of the suspects formed the group and initially envisioned using smoke grenades as a distraction to topple financial-institution signs on high-rise buildings in downtown Cleveland. The group later decided to obtain plastic explosives to attack the Route 82 Brecksville-Northfield High Level Bridge, which passes over the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.
All five suspects are due in federal court in Cleveland later Tuesday.