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. Kelly

    Dexter does not have to make things up.. we went to Grand Cayman last year and our daughter who is in a wheelchair was frisked her wheelchair was swabbed for explosives and she had to remove her shoes! plus being pulled out of line so they can use the hand held metal detector... this didn't happen at just one airport either it was all 3 (memphis , north carolina and grand cayman) so unless you actually travel with a child don't be so snarky!

    August 30, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • realworld

      Calm down, Kelly. They seem to go all out with wheelchairs, regardless of age. My girlfriend uses one. They think people are stuffing them with explosives. Ironically, my girlfriend practiced law on the 42nd floor of the South Tower. Although I'm sure you were caught by surprise, like I told Dexter, kids need to told in general about what security steps to expect, and why such lengths are being taken. Although the frisk, swab and hand-held seems rude, at least she can then know why.

      August 30, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Edward Reilly

    This "shocker" of a story, will likely turn out to be a nothing...an embarrasment to breaker ABC News, the other media picking up on, and those above who did not check out a bit further for its "nothingness"!

    August 30, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • KnewIt

      "nothingness"? Is that even a word?

      August 30, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • ProgressiveFail

      of course, because the only true evil in this world comes from the U.S.A. and corporations right? Get your head out. Just because something doesn't agree with your world view doesn't mean it's not true.

      August 30, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. phoenix

    Maybe instead of "terrorist" we should say "a** hole"... I'm pretty sure they cross racial AND religious boundaries

    August 30, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Metallica

    Ahmed Mohamed Nasser al Soofi and Hezem al Murisi, were taken off a United Airlines flight in the Netherlands and have been charged by Dutch police with "preparation of a terrorist attack," according to a U.S. law enforcement official.
    Is that Arab enogh for everybody????

    August 30, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Lee

    Is the conversations always about race, religion, and political affiliations? Can't we just say some messed up, insane psychopath did this? At least I think that would be something that everyone could agree on.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Metallica

    Definitely a dry run for something....

    August 30, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mr Pat

    Most Muslims are good peaceful people! Let's not let a couple of bad eggs cloud our perception

    August 30, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • ProgressiveFail

      The vast overwhelming majority of Muslims are not terrorists and don't condone it either

      but

      the vast majority of terrorists are Muslim

      there has to be a reason

      August 30, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      Most men are not rapists, but all rapists are men.

      August 30, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. UScitizen

    This sucks but the Arby's roast-beef I just had was awesome.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Metallica

    You are right Lee, most of the time, but this was clearly a couple of terrorists. Arab names, luggage on a different plane, they seem like Arab terrorists to me, but I could be wrong......NOT

    August 30, 2010 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lee

      Terrorists would also be a good term..I would agree.

      August 30, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. All Muslims-RTerrorists

    DONT LET ANY MUSLIMS ON AIRPLANES – PROBLEM SOLVED

    August 30, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al

      Hahaa...imagine if you didn't take your meds!

      August 30, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. harry riva jr.

    If you are arguing nationality or religion your opinions are blinding you to the fact that people that commit such acts are mentally disturbed and that is the bottom line.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • UScitizen

      Or possessed by demons.

      August 30, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • All Muslims-RTerrorists

      DONT LET ANY MUSLIMS ON AIRPLANES – PROBLEM SOLVED.

      August 30, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • ProgressiveFail

      but why are so many of them Muslim? Of course most Muslims are peaceful but most terrorists are Muslim, why?

      August 30, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lee

      True, they definitely have a mental problem.

      August 30, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Metallica

      well okay, then they were a couple of mentally disturbed ARAB TERRORISTS that committed this....

      August 30, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lee

      At progressive fail – Well in my opinion, I think it's because we are at war with the terrorists over there. Hence the Muslim stereotype for terrorists.

      August 30, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      They aren't mentally disturbed or possessed by demons. They are simply Muslim.

      August 30, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. mike achille

    Oh those crazy muslims. Abdul and Muhammad just doing the natural muslin islam thing as natural as me walking. They must do terrorism its in their inferior blood. We aRe defiantly better than muslim islam idiots hahaha. Islam is the enemy worse or just as bad as the Nazi I hope all the terrorism safe houses called moques burn in hell as they should. Islam a false prophet. The muslims r at it again and they will b at it tomorow death to the fidal also known as the muslim islam idiot hahahaha

    August 30, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. gpl2032

    Lol...So....ehemmmmm.....should we build the Mosque? You liberals are so F'n stupid. your sheep....your all f'n sheep...cannnon fodder....

    August 30, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Al

    I'm glad they were caught. Bring the full brunt of justice to them, setting an example.

    August 30, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. banana

    Oh ground zero mosque you have shown us your peace and love! Is there anything even worth blowing up in Amsterdam? And how do they find out AFTER the fact? You would assume that they would stop the plane midflight but no "lets see how far this plane flies"

    August 30, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
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