A Kansas man was arrested Friday morning and charged with plotting to detonate a car bomb at the Wichita airport where he works, federal authorities announced.
U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom told reporters during an afternoon news conference that Terry Lee Loewen, 58, attempted to bring a van full of what he thought were explosives to the airport but the would-be bomb was actually inert.
"At no time - and I repeat at no time - was the safety of the public at risk," FBI Special Agent Michael Kaste told reporters.
Grissom said Loewen, an avionics technician at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport, was arrested around 5:40 a.m. when he attempted to use his employee access card to drive the van onto the tarmac. He allegedly planned to detonate the car bomb at the terminal.
Loewen was charged with one count each of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempting to damage property and attempting to provide support to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
Loewen attracted authorities' attention early this summer after allegedly making statements about wanting to commit "violent jihad" against the U.S.
No additional arrests were expected, Grissom said.
The airport had 68 scheduled commercial flights on Friday, according to flight tracking site FlightAware.com.