According to the FBI, a lone man's attempt to blow up the Wichita Airport using a car bomb has been successfully foiled. The suspect in custody is Terry L. Loewen, a 58-year-old aviation technician and native of the region.
Allegedly he had made terrorist threats of violence in the past, voicing a desire to declare a jihad on the United States. The FBI began to investigate Loewen following an email exchange with an undercover federal agent.
It was clear to the FBI through these monitored exchanges that Loewen was and remains sympathetic to terrorist causes. He spoke highly of Osama Bin Laden and other members of Al Qaeda. Loewen intended to demonstrate his support of extremist Islam through a premeditated act of terrorism at some point.
After discussing a phony plot with Loewin, the undercover agent asked if he would be interested in creating an explosive device and acting as a suicide bomber. After helping Loewen construct what he mistakenly thought was a car bomb, the FBI instructed the suspect to drive the non-functioning device to the airport where he worked. Things didn't go as plan for the would be suicide bomber as Loewen's actions resulted in his early morning apprehension.
The charges include one count of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, one count of attempting to damage property by means of an explosive and one count of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. A conviction would bring about a life sentence.
Airport worker planned to set off explosives at Wichita airport, feds say. http://t.co/PMupSCGXOo
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) December 13, 2013
Despite the hefty charges, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom has been quick to emphasize that,“at no time was the safety of travelers or members of the public placed in jeopardy.”
Fortunately for an untold number of American citizens, Loewen opened up about his violent aspirations to the the wrong person at the right time. In essence, this foiled bomb plot was more about a proactive approach to would-be terrorism than a reactive approach taken after a major tragedy.
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