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.

FULL STORY

[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. Henry Pooper

    I guess this means they succeeded to some extent... they got a mock bomb on board the plane. If they had been real, it wouldn't have mattered that we were waiting to arrest them upon arrival... BECAUSE IT WOULDN'T HAVE ARRIVED

    August 30, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beekeeper

      No...they would have taken the bomb off the plane. They knew it was not a bomb on the first flight but wanted to track the bad guys. Read the freaking article...

      August 30, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. joshua

    Catholics have been bombing forever, does I.R.A. mean anything? Its satan,not muslims,christians,jews,iraqis doin this! We have to look past these stereotypes, we all believe in a God,lets tell folks that! Everytime you speak,feel,think bad about Anyone,you are doin satans will for him. Stop helpin the enemie and fight him!!!! Not each other,love each other is what our God wants!

    August 30, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • bc3b

      I think you are on to something: I seem to remember some of the 9-11 terrorists were named Kelly, McGee and O'Hara. The Christmas bomber was definitely IRA. So were the Bali bombers and the guy in Times Square. And, I think the guy in Buffalo who beheaded his wife was named Riley.

      When Islamic terrorists eventually succeed in blowing up a passenger jet, I hope it's filled with politically correct foiols.

      August 30, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Groovy Girl

    Ok–maybe it was a test for the 'bombers' and maybe our TSA knew they were fake and wanted to see their MO and let them go, otherwise why would they get arrested at the point of exit? We all know you get arresed at the point of entry, why would you get arrested at the point of exit?

    Maybe it was all set up to see what their plan was.....the terrorists were testing a new plan....and TSA got info they needed and let the Dutch know who to watch when they got off.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. PARROT

    THE WOLFOWITZ DOCTRINE AND THEIR LONG ARMS IN EUROPE...NOBODY CAN SCAPE

    August 30, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mensaman

    Don't jump to your wild conclusions. They certainly can't be Muslims. Islam is a peaceful religion.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Groovy Girl

      Oh, that's a good one.....I'm still laughing.

      August 30, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Lenten

    Here it comes, the strict no-phone policy on every plane from now on. We're doomed.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      We can only hope and pray you're right. Damn it, I hate when people talk on their cell phones in public, often less than several feet away from me. Your right to conduct private conversations in public should end at the entrance to my ear canals.

      August 30, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ME

    How come we don't get their names and their country of origin like they did with the Nigerian guy?

    August 30, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Randy M from MN

    IDIOTS!!

    August 30, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. KnewIt

    The men were identified as Ahmed Mohamed Nasser al Soofi, of Detroit, and Hezem al Murisi, the officials said. A neighbor of al Soofi told US media that he is from Yemen.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ca

    i wonder if any connection to the bomb threat on the jetblue flt from west palm beach to JFK that they just evacuated?

    August 30, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bryan

    Harold and Kumar are at it again!!!

    August 30, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. erikweho

    My guess is that they were being monitored here in the U.S. and followed on board to see if there was anyone else they knew would hook up with in flight.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. realworld

    Quite a terrorist attack they could pull with those fake bombs.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Babbalouie

    Peter Griffin and Glen Quagmire??

    August 30, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  15. TTall

    From ABCNews.com:

    "The men were identified as Ahmed Mohamed Nasser al Soofi, of Detroit, MI, and Hezem al Murisi, the officials said. A neighbor of al Soofi told ABC News he is from Yemen."

    Middle Easterners? What a shock.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
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