Saturday, December 14, 2013

Terry Loewen, Al Qaeda, "Most Muslims," and Assumptions

(From, used w/o permission.)
Terry L. Loewen, 58: aviation technician and would-be Al Qaeda suicide bomber, apparently.

Mr. Loewen wrote that he planned to be "martyred in the path of Allah," and that "most Muslims in this country will condemn what I have done." 1

I don't doubt that he was sincere. I also think that he was right about "most Muslims in this country."

But I'm not surprised that he doesn't "look Muslim."

I've been over this before: quite a few Muslims come from the Middle East, but Islam isn't an ethnic group.

Eventually, all but the most ardently chauvinistic WASP supporters in America may get used to the idea that someone can 'look American' and be a terrorist. Maybe they'll even decide that folks don't have to look English to be American: but I doubt it.

Learning the Right Lesson: Or Not

I'm very glad that Mr Loewen didn't succeed in becoming a "in the path of Allah:" for his sake, and for the sake of everyone else he would have killed.

How and why he made the choices he did may or may not come out as his case goes through the courts.

Based on what's been in the news so far, and depending on what folks assume, we could learn that:
  1. The FBI conspires to hurt innocent Americans
  2. You can't trust white people
  3. Religion kills
  4. All of the above
  5. None of the above
I think "E" is the right answer: but there's a tiny element of truth in "D."

Innocent people have been unjustly accused. Steven Hatfill is a recent, and happily rare, example.

Some white people are untrustworthy. I'd be astounded if any large group of human beings was entirely free of folks who are untrustworthy: or worse. But assuming that a few individuals are typical of a group is not, I think, usually prudent.

Religion of the 'kill a commie for Christ' or 'death to the great Satan America' variety is, in my considered opinion, dangerous. But I think that sort of attitude is often rooted in a desperate desire to preserve a dead or dying culture.

But I think that the FBI often serves a beneficial function, that many folks are trustworthy, that religion isn't necessarily a psychiatric condition: and those are other topics.

My take on:
In the news:

1 Excerpts from the news:
"FBI: Man spent months planning bomb plot at ICT Explosives were fake, U.S. Attorney says"
Adam Knapp,KWCH (December 13, 2013)

"A Wichita man has been arrested and charged in federal court for attempting to blow up Mid-Continent Airport in a suicide bombing Friday.

"Terry Lee Loewen, 58, who worked at the Hawker Beechcraft Services facility at Mid-Continent Airport, is alleged to have spent months developing a plan to use his airport access card to drive a van loaded with explosives to the terminal. He planned to pull the trigger on the explosives himself and die in the explosion, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.

"The explosives were fake, Grissom said....

"...According to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Loewen:
  • Studied the layout of the airport and took photographs of access points.
  • Researched flight schedules.
  • Assisted in acquiring components for the car bomb.
  • Talked about his commitment to trigger the device and martyr himself.
" 'The threat was real,' said Michael Kaste of the Federal Bureau of Investigations. 'But I assure you, the public was never at any risk at all.'

"Loewen, who is not believed to be involved with any religious affiliation in the Wichita community, was arrested at 5:40 a.m.

"He faces one count of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction against people and property within the United States, one court of attempting to damage property by means of an explosive and one count of attempting to provide material support to Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

"In a 21-page complaint filed in federal court, documents found that Loewen engaged in an online conversation with an undercover FBI agent to reflect his 'desire to engage in violent jihad on behalf of al Qaeda.'

"Lowen wrote, 'Brothers like Osama bin Laden and Anwar al Awlaki are a great inspiration to me, but I must be willing to give up everything (like they did) to truly feel like a obedient slave of Allah.' He went on to say 'I MUST be active in some kind of jihad to fell I'm doing something proactive for the Ummah.'

"In October, Loewen sent numerous photographs of his airport access badge, entrance gates to the tarmac and devices used to access the gates. He told the undercover agent he felt a morning attack at the airport would be best....

"...Loewen and the undercover agent met at a Wichita hotel Friday morning, drove to the location of where the bomb was being stored, the complaint read. The two arrived at Mid-Continent Airport at 5:40 a.m., where Loewen was arrested after two attempts at opening the gate to the tarmac.

"In a letter to family members dated December 11, 2013, Loewen said,
" 'By the time you read this I will - if everything went as planned - have been martyred in the path of Allah. There will have been an event at the airport which I am responsible for. The operation was timed to cause maximum carnage + death. My only explaination is that I believe in jihad for that sake of Allah + for the sake of my Muslim brothers +sisters. Fact is, most Muslims in this country will condemn what I have done. I expect to be called a terrorist (which I am), a psychopath, and a homicidal maniac.' "
"Loewen made his first appearance in federal court on terrorism charges at 3 p.m. U.S. attorneys will present the case to a grand jury for indictment next Wednesday....

"...Beechcraft released a statement saying Loewen is suspended from employment pending the outcome of the investigation...."

"Arrest made in attempt to bomb Wichita airport, FBI says"
Edmund DeMarche, (December 13, 2013)

"A Kansas man who authorities say in the past made threats to engage in violent jihad against the U.S. was charged Friday for allegedly plotting to detonate a car bomb at the Wichita Mid-Continent Airport.

"Terry L. Loewen, 58, an aviation technician who FBI agents say was inspired by Usama bin Laden, spent months planning the attack and was intent on using his employee access card to drive the vehicle loaded with explosives to a terminal, Barry Grissom, the U.S. Attorney for the district of Kansas, said, citing the criminal complaint. Loewen planned on dying in the explosion as a martyr, Grissom said.

"The complaint says an undercover FBI employee told Loewen about a recent trip overseas and a meeting with members of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. This agent told Loewen that 'brothers' were interested in his airport access, and asked if he'd be willing to plant 'some type of device,' the complaint said.

"Loewen allegedly responded, 'Am I interested? Yes. I still need time to think about it, but I can't imagine anything short of arrest stopping me.' The U.S. citizen allegedly wrote to the FBI agent that he was inspired by Usama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki.

"He was arrested at 5:30 a.m. without incident while trying to gain access to a tarmac, Grissom said. At the time, his access card did not work and he was with the vehicle he allegedly believed was filled with explosives.

"Authorities said there was never a bomb that could explode and the public was not in danger.

"Loewen has been under investigation by the Wichita Joint Terrorism Task Force since early summer 2013. It is alleged that in the past he has made statements that he was resolved to commit an act of violent jihad.

"The affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint alleges that Loewen studied the airport's layout, researched flight schedules, assisted in acquiring car bomb components and talked about sacrificing his own life in the attack....

"...His wife and attorney declined comment after the hearing....

"...Authorities said they believe Loewen acted alone. No other arrests are expected...."

No comments:

Unique, innovative candles

Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle Store


Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.