Terry Lee Loewen, 58, an avionics technician at the Wichita Mid-Continental Airport in Kansas, was charged with planning a suicide bomb attack on the Kansas airport.
Loewen was taken into custody early Friday morning while driving what he thought was a car bomb.
U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom stated Loewen was arrested "when he attempted to open a security gate with his pass" and drive a vehicle he believed to be packed with explosives onto the airport tarmac.”
“He planned to pull the trigger on the explosives himself and die in the explosion."
"In fact, these explosives were inert, and it was not a bomb that would ever explode," Grissom said, and "no one was placed in any jeopardy."
Loewen had been under FBI investigation for several months after he made statements describing a desire to commit an "act of violent jihad against the United States."
"By the time you read this I will - if everything went as planned - have been martyred in the path of Allah. There will have been an event at the airport which I am responsible for. The operation was timed to cause maximum carnage + death," Loewen wrote on December 11, in a letter left for a family member.
"I expect to be called a terrorist (which I am), a psychopath, and a homicidal maniac."
No additional arrests were made nor expected.
"Lone wolves, homegrown violent extremists, remain a very serious threat to our nation's security," FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael Kaste said in a news release.
"Today's arrest emphasizes the continual need for the public to remain vigilant as law enforcement relies on the public's assistance."