US & Canada

Five charged over 'plot to blow up Ohio bridge'

Combination of undated handout photos of Connor Stevens, Brandon Baxter, Douglas Wright, Anthony Hayne and Joshua Stafford
Image caption Three of the five suspects described themselves as anarchists

Five men, including three self-described anarchists, have been charged over an alleged plot to blow up an Ohio bridge.

The FBI says the accused were part of a plan to attack a four-lane bridge 15 miles (24km) from central Cleveland.

The public was not in danger because the explosives did not work and were being controlled by an undercover agent, the agency added.

None of the suspects is associated with foreign terror groups.

The arrests, made overnight on Monday, were the result of an undercover sting operation as part of an investigation launched in October 2011, an FBI affidavit said.

The suspects, aged between 20 and 35, appeared at federal court on Tuesday. They were charged with conspiracy and trying to bomb property used in interstate commerce.

No bail was granted.

Brandon Baxter, 20, Douglas Wright, 26, and Anthony Hayne, 35, were charged first, while indictments were brought against Connor Stephens, 20, and Joshua Stafford, 23, before the court appearance.

"The individuals charged in this plot were intent on using violence to express their ideological views," said Special Agent Stephen Anthony, of the FBI's Cleveland division, in a statement.

"The Joint Terrorism Task Force will continue to be vigilant in its efforts to detect and disrupt any terrorism threat, domestic or international."

An official from the US Department of Justice said that the plot was not connected to the first anniversary of Osama Bin Laden's death.