Why A Middle-Aged White Man Allegedly Decided He Was Going To Bomb A Kansas Airport

Federal officials arrested 58-year-old Terry Lee Loewen on Friday as part of a sting operation into an alleged plot to detonate a car bomb at the Wichita, Kansas airport.

The criminal complaint contains parts of conversations between Loewen, who was reportedly self-radicalized, and an FBI agent who was working undercover.

In these online conversations, Loewen allegedly reveals why he was plotting to bomb the airport, referencing jihad:

He allegedly said he was inspired by Osama bin Laden:

Loewen also allegedly says he has become “radicalized”:

He allegedly says he has no experience with explosives, but that he wants to learn:

He also mentions “Inspire” magazine, a radical Islamist magazine accessible online that Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev allegedly read to learn how to make the pressure-cooker bombs used in the attack.

Loewen allegedly “spent months developing a plan to use his access card to the airport to drive a carload of explosives to the terminal,” federal officials said at a press conference Friday.

When he was arrested, he was attempting to deliver the vehicle full of explosives.

No one was ever in any real danger, though, officials said. The operation was a sting and the explosives weren’t real.

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