Two men suspected of planning a bombing during the Ferguson protests were arrested by the FBI last week and indicted on weapons charges near St. Louis.
The suspects, Brandon Orlando Baldwin and Olajuwon Davis, were arrested on Thursday as a part of an undercover operation in St. Louis, according to CBS News. They were arrested while trying to purchase firearms under false pretenses, according to the unsealed federal indictment. Baldwin and Davis were charged with illegally obtaining two Hi-Point .45 ACP pistols, the network reported.
The suspects also had outstanding warrants, Rebecca Wu, an FBI spokeswoman told CBS News.
The investigation leading to their arrests had spanned several months, according to an rt.com police source. Authorities searched two residences in north St. Louis County and found information that the suspects were planning to use illegal weapons to cause harm to law enforcement and the public.
The arrest caught the attention of the New Black Panther Party, and one of its leaders, Chawn Kweli, blamed the operation on the Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO).
“The wicked enemies of Black people use lies and deceit to confuse the masses and misdirect the legitimate aspirations of the Black power movement,” Kweli wrote on his blog. “As seen, in St. Louis, Mo., with the arrest of Chairman Olajawon Ali, and other activist ahead of the decision on whether to indict Officer Darren Wilson for killing Mike Brown–or not!”
When the Brown shooting protests started in August, the FBI was concerned that members of the New Black Panther Party would be problematic. The St. Louis Division of the FBI issued a warning in August that Kweli and the New Black Panther Party were in Ferguson “to incite violence,” according to rt.com.
The FBI has about 100 agents in the St. Louis area.
The Brown family, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the leaders of the peaceful protestors in Ferguson have asked that the protests following the grand jury decision be peaceful.