Son of accused Wichita airport bomb plotter calls father a ‘really happy guy,’ report says

Published December 14, 2013

| FoxNews.com

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.

Loewen was charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempting to damage property and attempting to provide support to terrorist group Al Qaeda.

Hawker Beechcraft spokeswoman Nicole Alexander confirmed Friday that Loewen worked at the company's aircraft maintenance facility at the airport.

Loewen's neighbors said several law enforcement agencies converged early Friday morning at the modest brick home where Loewen and his wife live, just a few houses down from a local elementary school. Some neighbors said the couple mostly kept to themselves and didn't participate in neighborhood events.

Janine Hessman, who lives nearby, said she didn't know Loewen well but liked his wife and spoke to her often. But if the allegations are true, she said, "I don't really have any sympathy for him."

Loewen was charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempting to damage property and attempting to provide support to terrorist group Al Qaeda.

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http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/12/14/son-accused-wichita-airport-bomb-plotter-calls-him-really-happy-guy-report-says/