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.

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[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
soundoff (253 Responses)
  1. LaJollaRich

    I can't believe they were allowed to fly with cell phones strapped to bottles of liquid.

    August 30, 2010 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. stephen douglas

    Muslims, checking out our sercuity, no doubt about it. Furthermore, had they been detained and searched here in the U.S., they would have SCREAMED racism and brought in CAIR to condemn our authorities for profiling. That way we will be even LESS likely to stop the REAL perpetrators next week, or next month – it is only a matter of time before the religion of peace and tolerance gets off another successful attack on a bunch of unarmed civilians. Islam, it's a dynamite religion.

    August 30, 2010 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. stephen douglas

    No doubt about it: Muslims, checking out our sercuity. Furthermore, had they been detained and searched here in the U.S., they would have SCREAMED racism and brought in CAIR to condemn our authorities for profiling. That way we will be even LESS likely to stop the REAL perpetrators next week, or next month. It is only a matter of time before the religion of peace and tolerance gets off another successful attack on a bunch of unarmed civilians. Islam, it's a dynamite religion.

    August 30, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. muse

    read-ECHOS OF THE SOUL<BY ECHO BODINE-

    August 31, 2010 at 1:20 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Get with it

    Surely you guys can see that getting the hell out of the middle east will both help your economy and remove a lot of motivation for terrorist attacks. This includes no longer backing governments who don't have a popular mandate to govern and others who exercise their muscle at will. Perhaps the most important issue is a reliance on oil. Changing technology to drastically reduce your reliance on oil would remove the need to do all of these things. Your country will be cleaner and you can spend the money you're saving on products made in the USA.

    August 31, 2010 at 4:39 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. david

    Good catch

    August 31, 2010 at 9:57 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Shankar

    When we learn it will be too late, see MUSLIM again.

    August 31, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. GORD

    The two names of the men are Ahmed Mohamed Nasser Al Soofi and Hezam Al Murisi. It's getting to the point that I don't think they should allow people with names like that on civilian aircraft and I don;t care what anyone thinks.

    August 31, 2010 at 10:21 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Hindu

    American's its wake up call!! These are the same PEOPLE who are very friendly and sweet from outside. Don't get involved in sweetness, its a big trap. I can guarantee you that such things will happen again and again and you will notice a common denominator, a MUSLIM brother again.

    August 31, 2010 at 10:22 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. SimpleMistake

    To everyone jumping to conclusions and who are ready to hang all Muslims. It was just reported that it was a misunderstanding! The two men did not know each other and apparaently according to the TSA taping cell phones and watches to large items is a common practice when heading to foreign countires so that it is more difficult to steal.

    August 31, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Merl

    Someone mentioned that Amsterdam has "nothing to blow up". If it is a test run, it probably has something to do with one Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician who has been in the news lately for making inflammatory speeches concerning Muslims in the Netherlands. Any attack against the Netherlands would be some form of retaliation for Wilders' media antics, and the place they bombed wouldn't matter to them, these d-bags are just "trying to make a point".

    August 31, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Dexter

    Yemen
    Islam

    August 30, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. brenda

    nope, but i bet you're a white christian.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. John

    Brenda, you're half-right...I'm a white atheist.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Matt

    Seeing it was a flight to Amsterdam

    Rastafarian
    American

    Tomorrows Headline: Bongs? Oh we thought you meant bombs

    August 30, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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