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Did alleged bridge bombers also target the Republican National Convention?

11:52 PM, May 1, 2012   |    comments
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TAMPA, Fla. -- Five self-proclaimed anarchists were arrested Monday after allegedly conspiring to blow up a bridge about 15 miles south of Cleveland. Based on statements in the affidavit, not only are the suspects linked to the Occupy movement, but one of them mentioned the Republican National Convention in Tampa as another possible target.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen Anthony says, "The co-conspirators placed the inert IEDs at the base of a concrete support pillar and prepared to remotely detonate the devices."

But officials say their plan fizzled out after an undercover agent sold them two inoperable explosive devices.

Agent Anthony adds, "I want to stress, we all want to stress up here, that at no time during the course of the investigation was the public ever in danger."

What's troubling for many, though, is that two of the men -- 26-year-old Douglas Wright and 20-year-old Brandon Baxter -- also discussed timing and how to "make a good statement" at the Republican Convention in Tampa.

Tampa Police confirm there is a special transportation committee set up whose prime objective is to keep our roadways and bridges safe during the convention and Ken Jones, the president of the Republican National Convention Host Committee, told 10 News earlier this year, "While it may be a little nervous to most people what we know is going on out there, we know they're going to do their job to protect us at this event."

Meanwhile, the five suspects are said to be affiliated with Occupy Cleveland, but on Tuesday afternoon, several members of Occupy Tampa insist they don't condone violence. James, who did not want to reveal his last name, says, "People with the Occupy Movement are peaceful people. They don't wish anybody any harm."

All five of the suspects are in federal lockup in Cleveland facing conspiracy charges.

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