Man accused of plotting to bomb Kansas airport to change plea

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 05, 2015 1:56 PM

(Reuters) - A man accused of plotting a suicide bomb attack at an airport in Wichita, Kansas, in 2013, notified the U.S. District Court that he plans to change his not guilty plea at a hearing next week, according to online court records.

Terry Loewen, 59, was arrested trying to enter the tarmac at Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita with what authorities said he believed was a vehicle loaded with explosives. He had planned to trigger the explosives next to a terminal and die in the blast.

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 was charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, attempted use of an explosive and attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

A hearing was scheduled for Monday afternoon before U.S. District Court Judge Monti Belot in Wichita.

He had been under investigation by a joint terrorism task force for months. Loewen believed he was working with a member of a Yemen-based terror group and another individual, both of whom were undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, a criminal complaint said.

The agents helped him with the 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.

(Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis. Editing by Andre Grenon)