Transcript for Feds Announce Terror Arrest in Wichita, Kansas
I'm -- company -- -- ABC news breaking news report at this -- federal authorities say they have stopped a planned terror attack. On a Wichita Kansas airport and now the FBI. He's holding a press conference let's go now to Wichita Kansas with more. -- -- Sufficient water. And. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Good afternoon and thank you for coming here. Before we get into the essence while we're here today. -- to a couple things. First electric -- up here Whitney. To introduce themselves. Again. Typically at a press conference we take questions afterwards. Find out that the nature of what appeared to be -- understand why today we wouldn't be question. First about what would you start -- yourself. It's might cast on the special agent charged the FBI office here in Kansas City which covers. Western district of Missouri in the state of Kansas. It go to Brownback was kind enough he found out about. The operations this morning -- Contact us since that you won't come down here to gradually. Yeah outstanding work that is the -- women who have worked on this project a few days ago. Good afternoon I'm Norman Williams on the current -- -- -- -- -- -- documents. Good afternoon and Ernest Garcia. -- -- -- -- -- -- Good afternoon Rogers Sanders on the current chief of the airport police and fire or which -- continent airport. Jeff Easter with the city county sheriff's office that your peers -- I'm Keith Osborne federal security director for the state of Kansas. -- -- -- I mean this afternoon. With members of the Wichita joint terrorism task force. -- police and fire floor which saw me coming here. -- -- -- -- -- did you lose here in Wichita. The defendant was arrested this morning at approximately 548. And -- That's -- it faces three charges. One count of attempting to use -- weapon of mass destruction. One count of attempting to damage property with explosives. And one count of attempting to provide material support -- terrorist organization. If he's convicted of these charges. He faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison. The -- complaint was filed today -- US federal district court. Alleges that mr. -- spent months. Developing a plan to use his access card. To the airport to drive -- car loaded with explosives to determine. It's alleged he planned to pull the trigger on exposes himself and explosion as a -- Agents arrested him. At about 5:40 AM as he attempted to use his access court. To -- the tarmac to deliver the vehicle loaded with what he believed to be high explosives. In fact. Those explosives were in arts and they -- what it was not -- ever explode. Members of the FBI's joint terrorism task force took him into custody without instant. Now I want next. Expressed in the strongest terms possible that at no time. What was the airport perimeter. Breached. And at no time was any citizen or member of the travel traveling public in any type of danger. No -- was pleased that he Jeffords. I also would have also -- at this. We have no. Indication that the defendant was. Involved working with any members -- -- Religious community at Wichita. And his actions in no way reflect anyone else in our community. -- -- something about the investigation itself. Mr. long had been under investigation by Wichita joint terrorism task forces. Early summer of 2013. He made statements that he was resolved to -- an active. Violent Jihad against the United States. Over a period of months he took several actions to advance this -- According to the affidavit filed with the complaint. It alleges that mr. -- studied the layout of the airport took photographs of -- access points. He research flights to determine when you begin maximum number of individuals at here. He is he assisted in -- foreign components which he believed were part of the building of the -- He talked about his commitment to this crime and his commitment to martyr himself as part of this horrific event. This morning as a seventeen went to the mid continent airport to detonate the bomb. He was taken into custody when he attempted to open the security gate with his pass. He was taking a -- -- security. Pass fail to operate the -- As I -- he was vacant and without incident the woman was armed. The FBI evidence response teams are processing multiple locations right now for evidence. And although the investigation is ongoing we do not anticipate any additional -- at this time. Start with the governor early. And in this day and age cynicism about government and cynicism about law enforcement. I want to -- the members of our community and folks in our state that this is a shining example. How. Good law enforcement. And how will they work together it's -- is truly textbook example. And I want to thank the Wichita JT TF. The FBI. The Centre county sheriff's office the Kansas Highway Patrol. The Transportation Security Administration Wichita airport authority and Wichita police department for the work they've been on this case. It was truly a team effort. Now like to do is turn this over two SEC can ask for for the FBI's leading -- is its. Located -- -- back there. -- thank you Berry and much of the stuff and I'll talk about on Barry might have paid out but there are some points that -- really want to emphasize and I want to emphasize some points from the FBI so first off. As the US attorney said this absolutely would not have been possible. Our cooperation our state and local partners that are -- joint terrorism task force we absolutely could not have got that on without them. Today's arrests however emphasizes that homegrown terrorism is a continuous threat within the United States. While we feel protected here in the heartland in the middle America. We have a certain sense of security but today again it reminds us. That terrorism remains -- didn't remains very real threat. Just last month FBI director -- he testified before the United States senate committee on threat to the homeland. During testimony. -- I want -- -- part of his testimony. First I worry most at home about individuals we call homegrown violent extremists. There are people who are inspired Obama inspired by al-Qaeda but -- direct themselves and equip themselves to engage in their own version of Jihad on behalf. Of the terrorism interest. As law enforcement we are charged -- and have an obligation to take action and protect the public. Whenever an individual expresses a desire to commit violence. Allowing an individual intent on killing people to proceed without government response. Is not an option in it will never be an option. Keep in mind today if you start examining this investigation. And you started examining our actions. Today's actions by this individual work -- choice on his part. It was a choice act upon an intent to do harm. By no means. Is this based or should reflect on any religious community are also worship. To hijack a peaceful religion to manipulated and exploited to justify once -- actions is in no reflection. Upon an individual community where their religious beliefs I wanna -- ensure the public as the US attorney said again. At no time and I want to repeat at no time was the public safety at risk. Nor was the safety of any traveler mid continent airport -- at risk. The threat was real. Terry -- what's real and Terry -- -- was committed to execute this plan but I can assure you again the public was not at risk at all. Today's arrest also emphasized that the treatment is working relationship among law enforcement. We've been a state of Kansas and must again commands a fine job with the joint terrorism task period -- -- of them American. Investigations of these types because of their nature are very sensitive and follow strict guidelines. Governing the use of undercover operations. We base our investigations and sound legal standards. With the ultimate goal of keeping US citizens safe while protecting us from a terrorist attack. Which is the FBI's number one priority. The FBI along without law enforcement partners work together working hand in hand where our prosecutors. The United States attorney's office in the counterterrorism section of Department of Justice insuring and maintaining adherence to these guidelines finally. As I've mentioned we rely on -- law enforcement partners to do our job but we also heavily rely on the communities partners. Every day to -- -- -- to keep our community and our nation safe. Members of the community are valuable partners everyone has a role in -- -- -- safe. And a responsible to negative -- ability to remain vigilant thank you. -- -- -- It -- involved in this today the F federal state and local agencies that collaborated in this investigation. -- terrorist threats. Here in Kansas. The joint terrorism task force FBI Kansas Highway Patrol sit -- county sheriff which -- airport police -- police department TSA and other law enforcement agencies collaborated. As you've heard an intensive six month investigation. Result of the rest of -- -- this morning with -- incident. And our ongoing war on terrorism. The good guys won one today. The joint operation. With federal state and local components. Captured -- would be terrorist before he cause any harm. This is the -- government is supposed to operate. United. Ineffective. And it happened today. Point congratulate all those involved in this successful operation. It's also -- remember that are dedicated law enforcement personnel are committed to our safety every day. Even here in the heartland. We must remain vigilant. Remember the motto. If you see something say something. -- -- I. Graduate. FBI's joint terrorism -- -- US attorney's office reported seeing this is a successful prosecutions. Here. As I said we'll be taking questions we will be handing out copies. The complain that he's just been filed within the past hour so we have them over here so. They'll give you an opportunity to fill up with the information we're not at liberty to disclose this point in time thank you very much for coming appreciate. -- -- -- Pretty -- we thought we were 100. And crews -- watching -- a press conference by the FBI and the US attorney general's office in Wichita Kansas for the arrest. Of an electrical engineer that worked at an airport. That had planned to. Detonated an explosive at the airport we just heard from the FBI going over a little bit about how this case had come about they started. Tracing sort of following this Terry -- in. Back in the summer when he had started posing some information that he was. Had a motive of committing a violent Jihad against the United States and at that point the feds had stepped in. And began a communication back and forth with Terry -- Apparently at this point the suspect had researched flight patterns in and out of the Wichita airport. Had attended to acquire some explosives all working at this time with an undercover FBI team. Providing him with this thought that in fact he was going to be able to pull off this kind of an attack at the Wichita airport. The feds though emphasizing that at no point was the public or the perimeter of the airport in any kind of danger that it was in breached in any type of way because. He did have access as an electrical engineer. And was able to get into areas where he wanted to set off this explosive device. And now as we just heard. There are three charges that are filed against him the first is the use of weapon of mass destruction. The second to use an attempt to damage or destroy by means of an explosive a billion of -- a core property. For interstate or foreign commerce and the third charges brought against -- -- -- is the attempt to provide -- of support and resources in the way of services to al-Qaeda. In the Arabian Peninsula again the feds saying that they stopped what could have been. This man's attempt to detonate an explosives at the Wichita airport this morning. They do not believe that he was working with anyone else they said that at this point they don't suspect that there will be any other suspects arrested. But that the investigation is ongoing of course as more information and more details will be made available we will have a complete report right here on abcnews.com. For now I'm Dan Butler in New York with this ABC news. Breaking special news report.
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