UK & World News

  • 14 December 2013, 9:38

Airport Worker Arrested Over 'Car Bomb Plot'

A man accused of planning to detonate a car bomb at a Kansas airport has been arrested after an FBI sting.

Terry Lee Loewen, 58, was detained after he drove a vehicle loaded with what he thought were explosives to Mid-Continent regional airport in Wichita.

The suspect, who worked at the airport, had planned to smash the car into a terminal there in a plot aimed at supporting terrorist group al Qaeda, authorities said.

The materials in the vehicle were harmless, and no one at the airport was in any immediate danger, officials claimed.

Loewen 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 al Qaeda.

The avionics technician, who worked at the airport for Hawker Beechcraft, lives in Wichita.

He had been under investigation for about six months after he made statements about wanting to commit "violent jihad" against America, said US Attorney Barry Grissom.

An undercover FBI agent befriended Loewen, striking up conversations about his admiration for those who plotted violence towards US interests.

Loewen spent months studying the layout of the airport, its flight patterns and other details to maximise fatalities and damage in an attack, according to officials.

He developed a plan with other conspirators, who were undercover FBI agents, to use his employee access card to carry out the bombing, it was alleged.

"At no time was any citizen or member of the travelling public in any type of danger. No one was placed in any jeopardy," stressed Mr Grissom.

Authorities said they believe Loewen acted alone and no other arrests were expected.

He has appeared in court and was detained until his next hearing in a week's time as he was deemed a flight risk and a danger to the public.

Wichita Mid-Continent Airport had 68 scheduled commercial flights on Friday, according to flight tracking site FlightAware.com.

:: Watch Sky News live on television, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.

Advertisement