A 58-year-old man from Wichita, Kansas, has been arrested for allegedly trying to blow up Wichita Mid-Continent Airport with a car bomb in support of Al Qaeda.
Terry Lee Loewen is charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempting to damage property and attempting to provide support to Al Qaeda.
According to the criminal complaint, Loewen said he was trying to support Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen, by committing “an act of violent jihad.”
Loewen, an avionics technician who reportedly works at the airport, allegedly made statements online to an undercover FBI agent about downloading terrorist propaganda online and wanting to commit “violent jihad” against the U.S. According to the complaint, he also said:
“As time goes on I care less and less about what other people think of me, or my views of Islam. I have been studying subjects like jihad, martyrdom operations, and Sharia law. I don't understand how you can read the Qur'an and the sunnah of the Prophet and not understand that jihad and the implementation of Sharia is absolutely demanded of all the Muslim Ummah.”
"One last thing I would like to make clear if I haven't already - I believe the Muslim who is labeled ‘a radical fundamentalist’ is closer to Allah than the ones labeled ‘moderates.’ Just my opinion; if I'm off base, please set me straight.”
He also indicated that he “considered supporting some of our brothers and sisters in prison,” and has been sending money to the family of Younnus Abdullah Muhammad. Muhammad is the co-founder of Revolution Muslim, the fringe anti-Semitic Muslim organization based in New York that justified terrorist attacks and other forms of violence. The arrest of the Revolution Muslim leaders in recent years has led to its demise.
Loewen described Revolution Muslim as “the first website that really helped me understand what obedience to Allah was.”
According to the criminal complaint, he also expressed his admiration of Anwar Al-Awlaki, an American-born Muslim cleric who encouraged attacks against America and the West to English-speaking online audiences for several years. Al‐Awlaki was among a growing chorus of Americans residing abroad who used their online pulpits to reach and influence audiences in the U.S. by repackaging ideologies of extreme intolerance and violence into digestible sound bites.
Al-Awlaki's materials have inspired several American Muslim extremists to carry out terrorist attacks in the U.S. and join terrorist groups overseas. He was killed in a drone strike in Yemen on September 30, 2011.
Loewen, who also goes by Terry L. Lane, reportedly left a letter for his family dated December 11 that said, “By the time you read this I will -- if everything went as planned -- have been martyred in the path of Allah.”
Described by the U.S. government as “the most active and dangerous” branch of Al Qaeda, AQAP has attempted to carry out multiple attacks against the United States, including at least three failed attacks involving U.S.-bound aviation.