Airport bombing suspect to remain in custody

Published On: Dec 24 2013 08:09:51 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 20 2013 05:34:42 PM CST

Update: A Federal Magistrate has ordered Terry Loewen to remain in federal custody until his trial.

Magistrate Karen Humphries said there is "clear and convincing evidence" that Loewen is a danger to the public and a flight risk.

Attorneys on both sides argued their cases for about an hour Friday morning.  Loewen's attorneys wanted him released on house arrest with electronic monitoring.

"There are no conditions that can be imposed that would assure the safety of the community," Humphries said.

Her decision came down just after noon on Friday.


Terry Loewen, the man accused of planning a suicide bombing at Wichita's Mid-Continent airport, will appear in federal court at 11 a.m. Friday.

The hearing will determine if Loewen should stay in jail until his trial, which is scheduled for February. In a pretrial detention motion filed with the court Thursday, prosecutors argue that Loewen must stay in custody to both ensure the safety of the community, and that he does not flee.

In the court filing, prosecutors say "the defendant is charged with an egregious crime of violence. The evidence is overwhelming that the defendant no only intended to commit the offense, but that he fully intended to inflict 'maximum death + carnage' in his attempt to detonate a device that would have killed or severely injured the hundreds of people who would have been in commercial aircraft and in the terminal area at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport on the morning of December 13, 2013".

In the documents, prosecutors also note Loewen as a flight risk, saying "the defendant spoke during the investigation about leaving the country after the attack in order to escape responsibility for his actions. Given these statements to the FBI employee, especially in light of the fact that the defendant was attempting to brutally murder or severely injure several hundred members of the Wichita community, it is clear his ties to the community mean little to the defendant".

Wednesday, a grand jury indicted Loewen on charges that included attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.

Loewen was arrested Dec. 13 at the airport in a van full of what he thought were explosives. The explosives were actually fake material provided by undercover FBI agents who prosecutors say Loewen had been talking with for months.