Federal prosecutors say Tery Lee Loewen intended to inflict "maximum carnage" with a suicide bomb plot at the Wichita Airport.
They say a bomb would have killed or injured hundreds of people--and those factors alone should compel a judge to keep him behind bars before trial.
Loewen will return to court for a detention hearing on Friday.
He'll have to convince U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen Humphreys that he does not pose a public danger or flight risk.
Loewen is charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempted use of an explosive device to damage property, and attempted material support to al-Qaida.
Loewen has been held under a temporary order since his arrest on December 13th.
Prosecutors say he tried to get what he believed was a car bomb onto the tarmac at Mid-Continent Airport, where he worked as an avionics technician.
His final plan--which he'd unwittingly been working on with undercover FBI agents--was detonate the device between terminals for maximum casualties.
Loewen intended die as a martyr.
Acknowledging that Loewen has little criminal history and is a lifelong Wichita resident, prosecutors say he spoke during the investigation about leaving the country after the attack in order to escape responsibility for his actions.
His attorney, John Henderson, has declined comment.