FBI: Beech Employee's Airport Terror Plot Foiled
Fifty-eight-year-old Kansas man Terry Lee Loewen has been charged with attempting to explode a car bomb Friday morning at Wichita’s Mid-Continent Airport where he worked as an avionics technician for Hawker Beechcraft. Authorities allege that Loewen intended to detonate the explosives and die in the explosion, having been radicalized by fundamentalist Islam. Authorities say Loewen studied passenger traffic and planned his attack to take place just prior to Christmas to result in the most casualties and have the greatest economic impact. Through much of his planning, Loewen was observed by, and worked with, undercover FBI agents who provided him with fake explosives, rendering his final attempted act completely ineffective, the FBI said.
The FBI says their case includes correspondence with Loewen in which he stated that he was happy to be carry out the bombing, soon. And that, acting as co-conspirators, agents told Loewen he could “back out at any time.” Loewen had an appearance in court Friday afternoon, where he requested a court-appointed public defender. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Dec. 20. The FBI says that Loewen expressed concern prior to his alleged bombing attempt, saying that he didn’t fully trust his co-conspirators and that his greatest fear was to be unable to complete his planned Dec. 13 operation, because it was a set-up.