WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — An avionics technician from Kansas was arrested Friday as he planned to drive a vehicle full of explosives into a terminal at Wichita's Mid-Continent Regional Airport, authorities said.
Terry Lee Loewen, 58, was charged with one count each of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempting to damage property and attempting to provide support to terrorist group al-Qaida. Authorities said he was trying to support "al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula."
The materials inside the vehicle were "inert" and "at no time was the safety of travelers or members of the public placed in jeopardy," U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.
Investigators said Loewen is an avionics technician who lives in Wichita and works at the airport. He had been under investigation for about six months, after he made online statements about wanting to commit "violent jihad" against the U.S. The statements were made in a conversation with an FBI employee unbeknownst to Loewen, Grissom said.