Wichita man arrested on plot to bomb Wichita Airport

2:58 PM, Dec 13, 2013   |    comments
  • Undated booking mugshot of Terry Lee Loewen, 58, of Wichita, Kan. The avionics technician was arrested Dec. 13, 2013, and accused of plotting a suicide bomb attack at the city's airport. (Photo: Sedgwick County, Kan., Clerk's Office/AP)
  • A jet takes off from the airport in Wichita, Kan., Nov. 21, 2013. (Photo: Charlie Riedel, AP)
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(USA TODAY) -- A 58-year-old Wichita man allegedly plotting a suicide car bombing at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport was arrested Friday as he tried to drive on to the facility's tarmac.

Terry Lee Loewen, an avionics technician at the airport, was arrested at 5:40 a.m. U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said Owen had been under investigation and surveillance since early summer, when he allegedly stated he wanted to "commit an act of violent jihad' against the United States.

Loewen faces several federal charges, including one count of using a weapon of mass destruction. If convicted, he faces life imprisonment.

Authorities say bomb materials Loewen allegedly planned on using had been "rendered inert'' before Loewen arrived at the airport.

"At no point was any citizen in any type of danger,'' Grissom said.

Loewen had a security card that provided access to restricted areas of the airport, the largest in Kansas. He allegedly planned to load his car with explosives, then detonate the bomb as he entered the airport. Authorities said Loewen had planned to set off the bomb when the airport was most crowded.

While the case remains under investigation, no additional arrests are anticipated. Loewen is not associated with any religious group in Wichita, Grissom said.

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