Terry Lee Loewen, a 58-year-old airport avionics technician, was charged with planning a suicide bombing at the passenger terminal at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport in Kansas. He tried to gain access to the tarmac with his security pass while driving a vehicle he thought was loaded with explosives. Because the authorities had been watching him, however, the explosives were not real.
According to the Department of Justice, Loewen was “radicalized after reading extremist Islamic material on the internet.” Loewen is white. He was caught after having online interchanges with an FBI employee masquerading as a radicalized American. He wrote, “Let me preface the bottom line by saying I have become ‘radicalized’ in the strongest sense of the word, and I don’t feel Allah wants me any other way.”
Loewen was reportedly inspired by Osama Bin Laden, according to the criminal complaint: “Brothers like Osama bin Laden and Anwar al Awlaki are a great inspiration to me, but I must be willing to give up everything (like they did) to truly feel like a obedient slave of Allah (swt).
He faces life in prison after being charged with one count of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, another count of attempting to damage property with an explosive, and a third count of attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization.