RCMP un­der­scores threat from ‘ex­trem­ist in­sid­ers’

Cape Breton Post - - NEWS | CANADA -

The sen­sa­tional case of a Kansas air­port worker who planned to blow up a plane could hold im­por­tant lessons for Cana­dian se­cu­rity per­son­nel try­ing to de­tect a brew­ing ter­ror­ist plot, an RCMP in­tel­li­gence re­port warns.

Over last few years, al-Qaida ter­ror­ists and their af­fil­i­ates have un­suc­cess­fully plot­ted to smug­gle home­made ex­plo­sives into an air­craft’s cabin or cargo hold.

Terry Loewen’s failed plan to det­o­nate a bomb-laden ve­hi­cle on the tar­mac of a Wi­chita air­port near a parked plane — po­ten­tially killing scores of pas­sen­gers — “may be seen as a vi­able al­ter­na­tive to in-flight at­tacks,” the de­clas­si­fied re­port says.

Loewen, an avionics tech­ni­cian who was inspired by Is­lamic ex­trem­ists, pleaded guilty last month and faces 20 years in prison.

RCMP an­a­lysts see Loewen as a clas­sic case of the threat from “ex­trem­ist in­sid­ers” — known cases of em­ploy­ees at key public in­stal­la­tions, such as air­ports, who use their po­si­tion and knowl­edge to ad­vance or carry out a ter­ror­ist at­tack.

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