A man who identified himself as the son of the aviation technician arrested Friday for allegedly plotting to detonate a car bomb at the Wichita Mid-Continent Airport says his father was "a really nice guy," The Wall Street Journal reported.
Damien Loewen, 24, who told the paper he is Terry L. Loewen's son, said in a phone interview that his father was "really laid back, really happy guy."
"I never thought this would happen," he said.
Investigators allege that Terry L. Loewen planned to attack Wichita's Mid-Continent Regional airport in a plot aimed at supporting Al Qaeda.
Loewen, a 58, worked at the airport for Hawker Beechcraft, was arrested before dawn Friday as he tried to drive onto the tarmac. The materials in the car were inert, and no one at the airport was in any immediate danger, authorities said.
Loewen, who lives in Wichita, had been under investigation for about six months after making online statements about wanting to commit "violent jihad" against the United States, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said. An undercover FBI agent befriended Loewen, striking up conversations about terrorism and Loewen's admiration for those who plotted against American interests.
Loewen planned to die in the explosion, a fate that he said was inevitable in his quest to become a martyr in a jihad against America, according to court documents.
"Since early summer, he was resolved to take an act of violent jihad against U.S.," Grissom said.
Authorities said they believe Loewen acted alone. No other arrests were expected.
His wife and attorney declined comment after the hearing.
His brother-in-law, David Reddig, described Loewen as a "good guy." He said Loewen helped him pay off the debt on his truck and took care of his home and chickens after an eye injury kept him from working.
I thought this story would have been all over the news last night. Hardly a mention on CNN