The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Nation & World

December 13, 2013

Kansas airport worker arrested in car bomb plot

WICHITA, Kan. — A Kansas man was arrested Friday on charges that he planned to set off a car bomb at the Wichita airport in an attack intended to support al-Qaida, authorities said.

Terry Lee Loewen, a 58-year-old avionics technician who worked at the airport, was arrested before dawn as tried to enter the tarmac in a vehicle he believed was loaded with high explosives.

But the materials in the car were inert, and no one at the airport was in any immediate danger, authorities said.

Loewen, who lives in Wichita, had been under investigation for about six months after making online statements to an undercover agent about wanting to commit "violent jihad" against the United States, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.

Authorities said Loewen spent months studying the layout of the Mid-Continent Regional Airport, its flight patterns and other details to maximize fatalities and damage. During that time, he developed a plan with other conspirators to use his employee access card to pull off the attack. The conspirators were actually undercover FBI agents.

Loewen planned to die in the explosion, a fate that he said was inevitable in his quest to become a martyr in a jihad against America, according to court documents.

Authorities said they believe Loewen acted alone. No other arrests were expected.

In his online conversations, Loewen talked about downloading documents about jihad, martyrdom and an al-Qaida "manual." He frequently expressed admiration for Anwar Al-Awlaki, the American-born al-Qaida leader who was killed in a 2011 drone strike in Yemen, according to the documents.

Al-Awlaki emerged as an influential preacher among militants living in the West, with his English language Internet sermons calling for jihad, or holy war, against the U.S.

In August, an undercover agent offered to introduce Loewen to someone who could help him engage in jihad. A few days later, he mentioned providing a "tour" of the airport for one of the undercover agents.

Text Only
Nation & World
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium