On Friday December 13, the FBI arrested 58-year-old avionics technician Terry Lee Loewen, an employee of Wichita Mid-Continent Airport (ICT), as he attempted to enter the airport apron through a perimeter gate so he could detonate a vehicle laden with explosives in a “martyrdom operation” in the cause of Allah—Jihad. His plan was to blow up an passenger-filled airplane on the tarmac, killing as many people as possible, including himself.
What is typical, yet noteworthy, is the media’s dubbing of his plan, “radical,” and FBI leadership calling him a “lone wolf“—both of which demonstrate gross ignorance on the part of the media and our National Security community about the jihadi threat more than 12 years after 9/11.
To be clear, the work done by the Special Agent leading the investigation and the undercover employees involved was superb. These people deserve our praise and our appreciation. Because of their diligence, the FBI was able to insert themselves into the operation and provide Loewen with inert explosives and diffuse this martyrdom operation.
In the FBI complaint, the following portion of an email from Loewen to an undercover FBI employee stated in part:
As time goes on I care less and less about what other people think of me, or my views of lslam. I have been studying subjects like jihad, martyrdom operations, and Sharia law. I don’t understand how you can read the Qur’an and the sunnah of the Prophet (saw)a and not understand that jihad and the implementation of Sharia is absolutely demanded of all the Muslim Ummah.
In fact, Loewen did a significant amount of studying of the requirements of Islamic Law (Sharia) to come to the conclusion that Jihad is obligatory for Muslims. He came to this conclusion because all published Islamic Law obliges Jihad until the world is conquered for Islam and under the rule of the Sharia. There is no such thing as a “version” of Islamic Law which does not oblige Jihad, which is only defined as “warfare against non-Muslims” in 100% of published Islamic Law.
In Islamic Law, the entire world is divided into the Dar al Harb, “the house or abode of war,” and the Dar al Islam, “the house or abode of peace.” All lands which are not under Muslim control and ruled by Sharia, are considered Dar al Harb – enemy lands. “Harbi” means enemy personnel, or inhabitants of the Dar al Harb. All non-Muslims, not submitted to Islamic Law in Muslim lands are considered “enemy persons, persons from the territory of war.” The term “non-combatants” does not exist in Islamic Law. All lands occupied by Muslim forces at any time in history are considered “Muslim Lands.”
Jihad defined in authoritative Islamic Law:
“Jihad means to war against non-Muslims…signifying warfare to establish Islam” and is “obligatory for every Muslim” [Umdat al Salik, Classic Manual of Islamic Law (Shafi), Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, d. 1368.]
“War…is obligatory on men who are free, have attained puberty, who find the means for going to war, are of sound health, and are neither ill nor suffer from a chronic disease…the jurists agreed, with respect to the people who are to be fought, that they are all of the polytheists, because of the words of the Exalted, ‘And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah.” [The Distinguished Jurist’s Primer (Maliki), Ibn Rushd, d. 1198]
“Fight the unbeliever wherever you find them and lie and wait for them in every strategem of war…’I have been commended to fight the people until they testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah…’ This honorable Ayah (verse) 9:5 (Qur’an) was called the Ayah of the Sword, about which Ad-Kahhak bin Muzahim said, ‘It abrogated every agreement of peace between the Prophet and any idolator, every treaty, and every term.’ ” [Tafsir of ibn Kathir, d. 1373]
Even text books used in Islamic elementary and junior high schools in America teach this.
“The word jihad is most often associated with the act of physically confronting evil and wrong-doing…if anyone dies in a Jihad they automatically go to Paradise. A Shaheed or Martyr, is described this way by Allah, ‘Don’t think that those who were killed in Allah’s Cause are dead. No they are alive, finding their bounty in the presence of their Lord…the Law of the Land is the Shari’ah of Allah…the duty of the Muslim citizen is to be loyal to the Islamic State.” [“What Islam is All About” (most popular Islamic junior high school text in the U.S. – printed in English), 1997]
The FBI’s complaint defines “Jihad” as “an Arabic term meaning ‘holy war'” and “Sharia” as “the moral code and religious law of Islam.”
Yet American media outlets reporting the story of Terry Lee Loewen’s jihad say he had “radical ideas” and the FBI leadership told the public Loewen is a “lone wolf.” The term “lone wolf” does not exist in the Law of Jihad in Sharia. “Individual Jihad” – however – does exist.
While there are individuals who self-identify as “Muslim” in America who do not want to participate in jihad, there is no such thing as a “version” of authoritative Islamic Law which does not define Jihad as stated above.
In a letter Loewen left for his family, he stated: “By the time you read this I will – if everything went as planned- have been martyred in the path of Allah.”
The problem is not the increasing number of Muslims in the community who are willing to commit to martyr themselves in jihad against America and the West. The problem is the growing number of American leaders who are failing to adhere to their Constitutional and legal duties to “know the enemy,” address this enemy, and defeat this enemy.