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Cleveland anarchist bomb plot aided and abetted by the FBI

Solidarity

On 20 November, district court Judge David D Dowd Jr sentenced three anarchists with the Occupy Cleveland movement to prison terms ranging from 8 to 11.5 years for attempting to bomb a highway bridge last spring. US Attorney Steven Dettelbach trumpeted the successful prosecution: "These defendants were found to have engaged in terrorist activities … These sentences should send a message that when individuals decide to endanger the safety of our community, they will be held to account."

Cleveland anarchist bomb plot aided and abetted by the FBI

Rather than target real risks of domestic terror, like neo-Nazis, the FBI entrapment machine demonises anarchists and Muslims

Arun Gupta
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 28 November 2012

On 20 November, district court Judge David D Dowd Jr sentenced three anarchists with the Occupy Cleveland movement to prison terms ranging from 8 to 11.5 years for attempting to bomb a highway bridge last spring. US Attorney Steven Dettelbach trumpeted the successful prosecution:

"These defendants were found to have engaged in terrorist activities … These sentences should send a message that when individuals decide to endanger the safety of our community, they will be held to account."

Dettelbach, however, was trying to spin the judge's ruling that, in fact, rebuked the government. Dowd handed down far shorter sentences than the prosecutor sought, reportedly saying that the proposed prison terms were "grotesque" and "doesn't make any sense whatsoever". The prosecution had asked for sentences of 30, 25 and 19 years, respectively, for Douglas Wright, 27, Brandon Baxter, 20, and Connor Stevens, 20, in the failed plot to use plastic explosives to topple the Route 82 bridge spanning Ohio's Cuyahoga Valley National Park on 30 April 2012.

The prosecution was banking on decades-long sentences after negotiating a minimum of nearly 16 years for co-defendant Anthony Hayne, 35, in exchange for his testimony against his four associates. Hayne, who pled guilty 25 July on three charges, was told he would serve half the time of the other defendants. Dowd's decision sent Hayne's lawyer scrambling the same day to withdraw the guilty plea, with sentencing now set for 30 November. (The fifth man caught in the plot, Joshua Stafford, 23, is being evaluated for mental competency.)

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