It's getting a bit more nerve-racking to travel nowadays, especially in light of this story, when an airport worker's terrorist plot was thankfully foiled by the authorities. Terry Loewen, 58, was an avionics technician at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport in Kansas. He was arrested on Friday while attempting to detonate a vehicle that was filled with explosives that he thought were real.
He seems to have no affiliation with any kind of group, as authorities are calling him "a lone wolf." After trying to open a security gate with his pass and drive a vehicle with explosives onto the tarmac, he was taken into custody. And thank goodness. Imagine the mayhem and casualities that would have been caused had his violent plot worked.
"He planned to pull the trigger on the explosives himself and die in the explosion," a Justice Department news release said. "In fact, these explosives were inert, and it was not a bomb that would ever explode," said U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom. "No one was placed in any jeopardy."
The whole thing came about as part of an undercover FBI investigation. Glad to see the right side of justice prevail this time! Cheers to the good guys. Loewen had wanted to commit an "act of violent jihad against the United States" and did tons of research into the layout of the airport as well as how to create car bombs. He was hoping to detonate it at a peak traffic time to cause the most casualties.
Apparently authorities also found a letter that was allegedly written by this disturbed man, which was addressed to a family member. It said, "By the time you read this I will -- if everything went as planned -- have been martyred in the path of Allah. There will have been an event at the airport which I am responsible for. The operation was timed to cause maximum carnage + death .... I expect to be called a terrorist (which I am), a psychopath, and a homicidal maniac."
OMG, such scary stuff. Of course it's easy to make fun of the TSA and get very impatient when your bottles of liquids are confiscated and you have to take off pretty much all your clothes at security checkpoints, but at least this time, it seems the FBI and everyone involved did everything right. Loewen was unable to unleash the carnage he had carefully planned for months and everyone was able to get to their destinations safely.
We can only hope everyone remains vigilant so any terrorist trying to organize something like this will never see their sick plans come to fruition. It's so important, especially at this time of year, when so much traveling is involved, for everyone to stay safe!
Do stories like these make you any more nervous about flying?
Image via police