The FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested the three alleged anarchists Monday evening: Douglas L. Wright, 26, Brandon L. Baxter, 20, and Anthony Hayne, 35. They were charged with conspiracy and attempted use of explosive materials to damage physical property affecting interstate commerce.
Two other suspects, Connor C. Stevens, 20, and Joshua S. Stafford, 23, also were arrested, but a U.S. Justice Department statement did not specify the charges. The criminal complaint was filed in Cleveland.
The department said the public was never in danger. The explosive devices meant for the scheme were controlled by an undercover FBI employee, and the suspects were closely monitored.
The department statement said the initial plot involved the use of smoke grenades to distract law enforcement so the co-conspirators could topple financial institution signs atop high-rise buildings in downtown Cleveland.
But the suspects later conspired to obtain C-4 explosives contained in two improvised explosive devices to be placed and remotely detonated, the criminal complaint said.
After discussing targets for months, the group settled on the Route 82 Brecksville-Northfield High Level Bridge, the complaint alleged. The bridge crosses from Brecksville, Ohio, to Sagamore Hills, Ohio, over the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
The five were scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.