Man pleads guilty to plotting suicide bomb attack on Kansas airport

2015-06-09 06:05


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Wichita - A man accused of plotting a suicide bomb attack at a Wichita, Kansas, airport in 2013 pleaded guilty on Monday in a US District Court to a charge of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

Terry Loewen, 59, was arrested trying to enter the tarmac at the airport with what he believed was a vehicle loaded with explosives, with a plan to trigger the device next to a terminal and die in the blast, according to a criminal complaint.

A plea agreement calls for Loewen to be sentenced to 20 years in prison, followed by lifetime supervision. US District Judge Monti Belot set sentencing for August 31.

"Terry Loewen utilised his privileged airport access to attempt a terrorist attack in Wichita," Assistant Attorney General John Carlin said in a news release. "Detecting, disrupting and holding accountable those who wish to harm Americans remains our highest priority."

Loewen was indicted in December 2013 on three charges and told the court on Friday he planned to change his plea from not guilty.

Charges of attempted use of an explosive and attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organisation were dropped under the agreement.

Prosecutors said at the time of his arrest that Loewen, an aviation technician, had proclaimed himself Muslim and had talked of committing "violent jihad on behalf of al-Qaeda."

Loewen had a pass for security access to the Mid-Continent Airport, which is now called Wichita Dwight D Eisenhower National Airport, and had been under investigation by a joint terrorism task force for months.

The defendant believed he was working with a member of a Yemen-based militant group and another individual, both of whom were undercover FBI agents, a criminal complaint said.

The agents helped Loewen with construction of the device, which was not active, the complaint said. Loewen left a letter for a family member describing his intent to conduct a martyrdom operation, it said.

Read more on:    us

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.