How to catch a terrorist — and no, it doesn’t involve groping

WichitaBombSquad
A man was arrested this morning for allegedly planning to bomb the Wichita airport.

At the Wichita Eagle, Tim Potter writes:

A Wichita man has been charged in federal court with attempting to explode a car bomb at Wichita MC Airport, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom. Terry Lee Loewen, 58, of Wichita, is charged in a criminal complaint field today in federal court in Wichita. With one count of trying to use a weapon of mass destruction, one count of attempting to damage property, and one count of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

Loewen, who works as an avionics technician, is alleged to have spent months developing a plan to use his access card to airport grounds to drive a van loaded with explosives to the terminal.

He planned to pull the triggers on the explosives himself and to die in the explosion.

Agents arrested Loewen about 5:40 a.m. Friday after he attempted to enter the airport tarmac and deliver a vehicle loaded with what he believed to be high explosives.

Members of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) took him into custody without incident.

As I’ve written (and written), we stop terrorists long before they get to the airport, by using trained intelligence officers operating based on probable cause — not by having repurposed Cinnabon workers grope everybody’s hoohoo and pretend it means something.

(Photo courtesy of Dover Army Navy Store)

(Cross-posted at Advice Goddess)

  • Dolt

    Yet again the person trying to blow up planes or airports is the one with FBI provided ideas, plans and weapons. Just in time to justify fee increases and other budget needs to the public. Imagine that.

  • But why do I have the feeling that this was just another set-up by the FBI? You know, they entrap some poor depressed sad sack and call it a terrorism coup.

    • TestJeff Pierce

      Essentially, the details so far found a white American, who said he was radicalized. At any rate, the FBI armed him, so I doubt they will qualify as a foreign terrorist organization which would drop one of the 3 charges.

      Bottom line: He was encouraged no doubt over the 6 month lead up. That doesn’t mean he wouldn’t have done anything on his own.

      I wonder if the FBI is tracking Detroit airport workers – many of them are pre-radicalized I would bet….yet there is no measurable threat.

      And, as Amy points out, no illegal scanners or criminal touching pat downs needed.

      • Daisiemae

        Isn’t everybody pre-radicalized?

    • Daisiemae

      My thoughts exactly. Smells like a set up to me.