Man Pleads Guilty to Plotting Bomb Attack on Kansas Airport

WICHITA, KAN. (Reuters) -

A man accused of plotting a suicide bomb attack at a Wichita, Kansas, airport in 2013 pleaded guilty on Monday in U.S. District Court to a charge of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

Terry Loewen, 59, was arrested trying to enter the tarmac at the airport with what he believed was a vehicle loaded with explosives, with a plan to trigger the device next to a terminal and die in the blast, according to a criminal complaint.

A plea agreement calls for Loewen to be sentenced to 20 years in prison, followed by lifetime supervision. U.S. District Judge Monti Belot set sentencing for Aug. 31.

“Terry Loewen utilized his privileged airport access to attempt a terrorist attack in Wichita,” Assistant Attorney General John Carlin said in a news release. “Detecting, disrupting and holding accountable those who wish to harm Americans remains our highest priority.”

Loewen was indicted in December 2013 on three charges and told the court on Friday he planned to change his plea from not guilty.

The defendant believed he was working with a member of a Yemen-based terrorist group and another individual, both of whom were undercover FBI agents, a criminal complaint said.