Federal officials have arrested a man they said wanted to commit “violent jihad against the United States” and planned to blow himself up at Wichita’s Mid-Continent Airport in Kansas.
The man, identified as Terry Lee Loewen, a 58-year-old white male, is an avionics technician who worked at the airport, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom announced at a news conference Friday.
Loewen was arrested early Friday morning when he tried to detonate a car loaded with what he thought were explosives in a terminal, Grissom said. Officials said the bomb materials he had were inert.
He was taken into custody after the access card he tried to use to gain entry to the tarmac area didn’t work, Grissom said. He was arrested without incident.
Charges include attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempting to damage property and attempting to offer material support to a foreign terrorist organization.
“We have no indication that the defendant was involved or working with any members of any religious community in Wichita and his actions in no way reflect anyone else in our community,” Grissom said. “He made statements that he was resolved to commit an act of violent jihad against the United States.”
Investigators said Loewen studied flight schedules so his planned attack could have the maximum impact.
Grissom said that “at no time was the airport perimeter breached and at no time was a citizen or member of the traveling public in any type of danger.”
This post has been updated.