August 30th, 2010
06:14 PM ET

Dutch arrest two men after flight from U.S.

[Updated at 9:10 p.m.] Luggage with suspicious items that led to the arrests of two passengers of a Chicago-to-Amsterdam flight Monday was checked onto a different flight - one that went from Chicago to Washington's Dulles Airport and was scheduled to go on to Dubai, a law enforcement official confirms.


[Updated at 7:49 p.m.] The two men - passengers on United Flight 908 from Chicago O'Hare to Amsterdam on Sunday night - were arrested Monday at Amsterdam's Schiphol International Airport after "suspicious items" were found in checked baggage, U.S. and Dutch authorities said.

Suspicious items found in luggage associated with the pair "were not deemed to be dangerous in and of themselves, and as we share information with our international partners, Dutch authorities were notified of the suspicious items," the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said. "This matter continues to be under investigation."

One of the men had travelled to Chicago from Birmingham, Alabama, and the other had flown to Chicago from Memphis, Tennessee, a law enforcement official told CNN.

An X-Ray of the checked luggage of the man who had flown from Birmingham showed several cell phones strapped to bottles of medicinal liquid, a law enforcement official said.

The men did not have prohibited items on themselves or in carry-on luggage, a law-enforcement official said. Federal air marshals were on the Chicago-to-Amsterdam flight, that official said.

[Original post] Two men were arrested Monday at Amsterdam's Schiphol International Airport after a flight from the United States, a spokesman for the Dutch Justice Ministry said.

The men were being held at the airport after arriving in the Dutch capital from Chicago, Illinois, Justice Ministry spokesman Martiun Boalhouwer told CNN. Boalhouwer would release no further details of the arrests, saying an investigation was under way.

ABC News, citing U.S. law enforcement officials, reported that the men have been charged in the Netherlands with "preparation of a terrorist attack," and that they had just flown from Chicago, Illinois, to Amsterdam on a United Airlines flight.

The two appeared to have been traveling with "mock bombs" in their luggage, U.S. officials said, according to ABC News.

One of the men who had suspicious items in his luggage flew from Birmingham, Alabama, to Chicago's O'Hare airport, ABC News reported, citing unnamed officials. At some point, the luggage was checked onto a flight going from Chicago to Washington's Dulles Airport and then to Dubai, but rather than flying to Washington with that luggage, he boarded the Chicago-Amsterdam flight with the second man, ABC News reported, citing unnamed officials.

Screeners determined before the Birmingham-Chicago flight that the luggage didn't have explosives, officials said, according to ABC News. The luggage was removed from the Washington-Dubai flight when officials learned the man wasn't on that plane, and more screening again found no explosives, ABC News reported.

The men were taken into custody in Amsterdam after a request from the Netherlands' National Detective Department, airport press officer Robert Kapel said.

- CNN's Jeanne Meserve and Mike Ahlers contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Air travel • Illinois • The Netherlands
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