Bomber day1

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Airport plot months in making

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  • Kansas comSATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013 75 CENTS

    2013 The Wichita Eagle andBeacon Publishing Co., 825 E.Douglas, Wichita, KS 67202. D

    AIL

    YBusiness Today 6B

    Classified 1E

    Comics 4C-5C

    Crossword 5C

    Home & Garden 1C

    Legal ads 4D

    Weather 8BOpinion 11A

    Sports 1D

    Local & State 1B

    Obituaries 2B

    A federal judge in Wichitahas ordered a federal agencyto act on a request by Kansasand Arizona to modify a national voter-registrationform to reflect the statesvoter proof-of-citizenshiplaws.

    U.S. District Judge EricMelgren said Friday that theU.S. Election Assistance Com-mission must make a decision

    by Jan. 17, adding that thematter had been unreason-ably delayed and could beginto interfere with Kansas elec-tion cycle. Statewide electionsare scheduled for next fall.

    Melgren told a courtroomfull of lawyers who had beenarguing the issue all morningthat he would retain juris-diction over the case, antici-pating that no matter whatthe EAC decides, someone inthis room wont like it.

    Kansas Secretary of State

    Kris Kobach and Arizona Sec-retary of State Ken Bennetthave sued the commission forrefusing to add their statesproof-of-citizenship require-ments to the instructionsheets that accompany thefederal voter form. That formis not widely distributed inKansas but can be download-ed and copied from the In-ternet.

    The states had asked Mel-gren for a preliminary in-junction to force the commis-

    sion to modify the form. ButMelgren said he decided tosend the matter back to theEAC to allow the adminis-trative process to be complet-ed.

    The U.S. Supreme Courtthis summer invalidated Arizonas proof-of-citizenshiplaw, ruling that it conflictedwith the federal Motor VoterAct, which was designed to make registration more

    FEDS MUST MAKE DECISION ABOUT KANSAS AND ARIZONAS VOTER REGISTRATION FORMS, SAYS THE ORDER

    Judge orders action on voter ID laws

    Travis Heying/The Wichita Eagle

    Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach arrives at the FederalCourthouse in Wichita on Friday morning for an injunctionhearing on Kansas and Arizonas voter registration lawsuit.

    BY FRED MANNThe Wichita Eagle

    Please see VOTER ID, Page 8A

    For months, authorities allege, a58-year-old avionics techniciannamed Terry Lee Loewen driven by radical ideas andprepared to die in a suicideattack moved forward with a

    plot to detonate explosives at WichitaMid-Continent Airport.

    The planned attack was designed toinflict the maximum number of deathsat an airport in the nations midsectionbefore Christmas, says a detailed crim-inal complaint filed Friday.

    The plot got as far as a gate to theairport shortly before 6 a.m. Friday,when authorities arrested Loewenwithout incident. What he didnt knowuntil his arrest is that the people hehad been conspiring with all alongwere FBI agents, U.S. Attorney BarryGrissom announced Friday, stressingthat the public and passengers werenever in danger.

    Loewen now faces three federalcharges filed in Wichita: One count oftrying to use a weapon of mass de-struction, one count of attempting todamage property and one count ofattempting to provide material sup-port to a designated foreign terroristorganization that Loewen thought wasal-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula,based in Yemen.

    On the afternoon of the day he hadallegedly arranged for himself to die,he appeared instead in U.S. DistrictCourt in Wichita to hear himself ac-cused of terrorism charges.

    When Magistrate Karen Humphreysasked Loewen, Do you understandyour rights? he replied yes, maamin a steady voice.

    Loewen is being held in the Sedg-wick County Jail.

    Loewen worked as an avionics tech-nician at the Hawker Beechcraft Ser-vices facility at the airport. The com-pany said it suspended his employ-ment after learning of the arrest.

    He is alleged to have spent monthsdeveloping a plan to use his accesscard to airport grounds to drive a van

    loaded with explosives to the terminal.Authorities said he planned to pull

    the trigger on the explosives himselfand to die in the explosion.

    Grissom and FBI Special Agent inCharge Mike Kaste stressed that therewas no indication that Loewen wasinvolved with or working with anyreligious community in Wichita andthat his alleged actions in no way

    Airport plot months in making

    Bo Rader/The Wichita Eagle

    A Kansas state trooper, left, and an airport police officer stand watch at Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita on Fridayafternoon after a man was arrested in an alleged bomb plot Friday morning.

    Terry Lee Loewen, 58,has been charged infederal court withattempting to explodea car bomb at WichitaMid-ContinentAirport.

    There was no breach ofMid-Continent Airportssecurity. At no time was thesafety of travelers ormembers of the publicplaced in jeopardy.

    U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom

    Authorities allegeplan aimed formaximum deathsBY TIM POTTER AND ROY WENZLThe Wichita Eagle

    Travis Heying/The Wichita Eagle

    U.S. Attorney BarryGrissom, right, withKansas Gov. SamBrownback,announces the arrestof Terry Loewen ofWichita early Friday inan alleged plot todetonate a suicide carbomb atMid-Continent Airport.

    MOREINSIDE

    n Travelers findairport operatingas usual afterbomb plot. 10A

    n Brownback,other leaderspraise law enforce-ment response.10A

    n Go toKansas.com toread the 21-pagecriminal complaintand to see a videofrom Fridays newsconference.

    Please see PLOT, Page 10A

    Richard McKown woke upat 6 a.m. Friday to a streetlined with police and FBIofficials.

    It was hours later beforethe Wichita man found outwhy the serenity of his quietblock in the 3800 block ofEast Funston, tucked behindthe Wichita Mall, was thescene of a criminal investiga-tion.

    McKowns neighbor, TerryLee Loewen, 58, was chargedwith attempting to blow upWichita Mid-Continent Air-port in a criminal complaintfiled Friday in U.S. DistrictCourt in Wichita. He faces

    one count of trying to use aweapon of mass destruction,one count of attempting todamage property and onecount of attempting to pro-vide material support to adesignated foreign terroristorganization.

    I cant believe it, McKownsaid. This is a pretty close-knit neighborhood, but theykind of kept to themselves.Youd see them come and go.Sometimes theyd wave.Sometimes they wouldnt.

    But McKown was firm henever saw anything suspi-cious at the house with theunkempt front yard, with anold Jeep Wrangler and a

    Neighbors describe terrorism suspect

    Bo Rader/The Wichita Eagle

    The house listed as owned by Terry Lee Loewen, 58,who was charged in a criminal complaint filed Friday inU.S. District Court in a plot to detonate a bomb.

    BY BILL WILSONThe Wichita Eagle

    Please see NEIGHBORS, Page 9A

    Terry Lee Loewen, the manfacing multiple charges inconnection with an attempt toexplode a car bomb at Wich-ita Mid-Continent Airport,would have gone throughbackground checks and fin-gerprinting to gain an accessbadge for airport grounds, anairport official said Friday.

    Loewen, who worked as anavionics technician at HawkerBeechcraft Services, wouldhave been checked out by theFBIs electronic clearinghousein Washington before being

    approved for a badge to givehim access, said Victor White,Wichita Airport Authoritydirector of airports. Badgesmust be renewed each year.

    About 2,000 of the 10,000people employed by the air-port or its tenants need accessto airport grounds for theirjob functions, White said.

    The badges are color-codedfor level of access. Only asmall percentage of thosewho have badges have accessto the entire airport, he said.

    Some employees have accessto only the general aviation

    Airport: Man would havebeen screened for accessBY MOLLY MCMILLINThe Wichita Eagle

    Please see ACCESS, Page 9A

  • WWW.KANSAS.COM SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2013 n THE WICHITA EAGLE 9A

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