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. SVG

    The authorities knew of this before because if the bomb was seen for the 1st time at screening the airport would've been evacuated. It was good though to get at more plotters.

    August 30, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Beekeeper

    Great job TSA. For once we outwitted them...a good sign for the future.

    August 30, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Hunter

    Rome fell because they braced diversity? Wow, talk about revisionist history! Yes, the hate is out of control and America is doomed by it's own "law abiding" citizens who are killing it with this divisiveness, hatred and name calling. So sad but true.

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

      If by "divisiveness" you mean I don't want any Muslims brewing bombs in the U.S. or smuggling them into the U.S., then I admit to being divisive. If by "hatred" you mean I hate people who seek to do harm to innocent citizens and you mean I hate people who sneak across our borders instead of standing their turn in line to legally immigrate, then, yup, I admit to my hatred in those regards. If by "name-calling" you mean I call a person who totes bombs on civilian aircraft with the intent to kill passengers a terrorist, or I call a person who scurries across our borders without legal authority an illegal alien, well, I guess you caught me...I'm a name-calling SOB.

      August 30, 2010 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • KnewIt

      John, I applaud you! VERY well said!! VERY WELL!

      August 30, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. kaye

    One man was identified as Ahmed Mohamed Nasser al Soofi of Detroit, according to ABC News. The other was identified as Hezen al Murisi.

    Officials said the pair was traveling with apparent mock bombs in their luggage, ABC News reported. Officials found a box cutter and large knives in al Soofi's luggage, according to the report. A cell phone taped to a Pepto-Bismol bottle and watches taped together also were discovered.

    August 30, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. fleetline

    Betcha it was a couple of CNN reporters testing the system.

    August 30, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. kaye

    read my post above....they sound muslim to me

    August 30, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. VijaI

    Abdullah Al Allah and Allah Al Abdullah

    August 30, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kim

    I'm gonna have to go with Brian on this one. I believe it was Harold & Kumar too lmao

    August 30, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. gene

    Check another news site, they are muslims. Shock, I know.

    August 30, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Kim

    I'm gonna have to go with Brian on this one. Harold & Kumar lmao

    August 30, 2010 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. adnor11

    And I can't bring knitting needles on some flights. (rolls eyes...)

    August 30, 2010 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Sicilians are coming

    Watch out for the Sicilians... They are coming and with a vengeance. They make a mean meatball too. Those Africans from Djibouti are on the prowl as well. Let's just start picking on different countries out of the blue, because that's all that's really being done here.

    August 30, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Geo In TO

    Just find a way to blame Canada again, like how the 9-11 hijackers made their way into America via Canada, that urban myth is still considered fact by various US lawmakers of both political stripes.
    Anyway, just goes to show the incompetence of the America paranoia machine, can't catch anyone, someone else has to do it for them.

    August 30, 2010 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. LoveThosePotSmokers

    There's only two things I hate in this world... people who are intolerant of other people's cultures and... the Dutch!!!

    August 30, 2010 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • KA

      Any particulair reason, that would only count for the Dutch and not the Americans as well:):):):)?

      August 30, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Claire

    Right... they "found the fake bomb" and just let the luggage travel further, instead of confiscating it for the investigation, fingerprints, etc? *cough* *securityfailcoverup*

    August 30, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
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