WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A federal magistrate judge says an avionics technician charged with plotting to bomb a commercial aircraft terminal in Kansas poses a public danger and should not be released pending trial.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen Humphreys also ruled at Friday's hearing that Terry Lee Loewen is a flight risk. She entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf.
The 58-year-old man is charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, attempted use of an explosive device to damage property and attempted material support to al-Qaida.
Loewen was arrested Dec. 13 after a months-long undercover sting. Prosecutors say he tried to bring what he believed was explosives onto the tarmac at Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport where he worked. They say the attack could have killed or maimed hundreds of people.
A Kansas airport worker accused of plotting a suicide bomb attack will have to convince a federal magistrate judge he does not pose a public danger or flight risk to be released before his trial.
Terry Lee Loewen is expected in court Friday for a detention hearing. The 58-year-old Wichita man has been in custody since his Dec. 13 arrest.
Prosecutors say he tried to get what he believed was a car bomb onto the tarmac at Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport.
His defense attorneys face a tough challenge getting him released, given the severity of the charges. He faces a potential life sentence if convicted on the most serious of the three charges -- attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.
His trial is set for Feb. 18.