An undercover investigation by the FBI led to the arrest of Terry Loewen who drove a vehicle loaded with what he thought were explosives into the Wichita airport with plans of committing a suicide attack, Reuters reported.
Loewen, 58, is an aviation technician from Wichita who proclaims himself as a Muslim and said he wanted to commit "violent jihad on behalf of al Qaeda," Reuters reported.
Loewen was actually under investigation by the Wichita Joint Terrorism Task Force since the summer and had been unaware he was working with undercover FBI agents to carry out the suicide attack, Reuters reported.
Loewen is being charged with counts of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempting to damage property by means of an explosive and one count of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, according to Reuters.
"This incident is a reminder that we must remain vigilant and reaffirm our commitment to protecting this country and its ideals from those who wish to do us harm," U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran said in a statement, according to Reuters.
According to the report, Loewen was made to believe one of the agents was a AQAP member, a Yemeni terrorist group responsible for numerous attacks against the United States, Reuters reported. The agent helped him build a bomb that was not active but officials would not release any information of the bombs contents.
"It was not a bomb that would ever explode," Barry Grissom, U.S. attorney for the District of Kansas, said in a statement, according to Reuters. "At no time was the airport perimeter breached and at no time was any citizen or member of the traveling public in danger."
According to authorities, Loewen had made previous statements that he wanted to commit an act of violence in the name of Allah and kill as many people as possible, Reuters reported. Loewen had researched the best times to carry out the attack in order to kill the most people.
He also left a letter with yesterday's date for family members, part of which read: "By the time you read this I will - if everything went as planned- have been martyred in the path of Allah... The operation was timed to cause maximum carnage + death. My only explanation is that I believe in jihad for the sake of Allah + for the sake of my Muslim brothers + sisters."