A Kansas man who police say cited Osama bin Laden as an inspiration was arrested Friday for allegedly plotting to detonate a car laden with explosives at the airport where he works, authorities said.
Terry Lee Loewen, 58, was charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempting to damage property and attempting to provide support to the terrorist group al-Qaeda, the Associated Press reports. But authorities say he was acting alone.
The FBI had been investigating Loewen, an avionics technician, for six months, during which he communicated online and in person with undercover FBI agents, authorities said. An affidavit filed in a Kansas court Friday alleges that Loewen conspired with undercover FBI agents to drive the car bomb into the airport in Wichita in a suicide attack. He was arrested Friday morning while trying to gain access to a tarmac with an undercover agent and a vehicle that he believed was filled with explosives, the AP reports.
The affidavit includes excerpts of communications between an undercover agent and Loewen that show the suspect professing radical ideology and agreeing to partake in the attack on the airport where he worked.
“I have become ‘radicalized’ in the strongest sense of the word,” he told the undercover agent in one online message, according to the affidavit. In another, he wrote, “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.”
The affidavit is below:
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