Bomb plot suspect leases Occupy warehouse in Ohio

11:01 PM, May 6, 2012   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- One of five men arrested in an alleged Ohio bridge bombing plot signed the lease for the warehouse that's home to about a dozen protesters from the Occupy Cleveland movement, which is working to get the man's name removed from the lease, a group spokesman said.

The $600 monthly rent for the warehouse was paid to a landlord, not to suspect Anthony Hayne, group spokesman Joseph Zitt told The Plain Dealer.

"We needed a name on the lease, and he agreed to be it," Zitt said.

Hayne, 35, is among the five suspects accused of trying to bomb a highway bridge south of Cleveland using devices that were actually fake bombs provided through an undercover FBI employee.

The others are Douglas L. Wright, 26, of Indianapolis; Brandon L. Baxter, 20, of nearby Lakewood; Connor C. Stevens, 20, of suburban Berea; and Joshua S. Stafford, 23, of Cleveland.


They were indicted last week on three counts each, including a charge of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction to destroy property in interstate commerce.

They are due in court Monday for a preliminary hearing.

One defense attorney has said it's a case of entrapment, in which an FBI informant guided the process. But authorities describe the suspects as anarchists who acted out of their own anger against corporate America and the government.

The Occupy movement has sought to distance itself from the suspects since their arrest last week and says they were affiliated with Occupy Cleveland but didn't represent it or its non-violent philosophy.

Zitt said the group isn't in favor of violent response and would have expelled the suspects if the group had learned they were considering acts that could be deemed terrorism.

"These people participated in aspects of the movement, but once we discovered what was going on we decided they could not be part of it," Zitt said. "I wish we had learned earlier."

He said Occupy Cleveland group leaders ousted another member late last week because he threatened and struck someone he believed had information about the alleged bombing plot.

"We threw him out, and as he left the building he smashed a window and sliced bike tires," Zitt said. "He's not the kind of person we want involved with our group."

The Associated Press

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