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
soundoff (253 Responses)
  1. KBinMN

    It's them damn Swedes I betcha!

    August 30, 2010 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      They couldn't have been Swedes. TSA would have removed them from the plane in the US.....just some white guys, no PC violations. Now, if the guys were Middle Eastern looking, of course, TSA is going to let them get on the plane, fly on to big deal having fake bombs and all. TSA can only harrass white and black Americans. They would be totally out of line denying a flight to a couple of Middle Eastern looking guys. Apparently, the Dutch are not quite as stupid and wouldn't have them boarding planes or anything else in their country.

      August 30, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • kirtapit


      August 30, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Claire

      Congratulations, your joke successfully made it past Aaron's inspection.

      August 30, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      For all of you shut-ins who think you know world affairs, let me make it simple for you:
      The Westboro Baptist Church does not represent most Christians any more than Al-Quaeda represents most Muslims.

      August 30, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nikki

      uh, Aaron, that person was KIDDING

      August 30, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jerry

      @Claire: Almost got by without another inappropriate comment from Aaron - but not quite. Makes you really feel bad for the humor-challenged among us.

      August 30, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chuck

      The two men were muslims, but cnn and msnbc won't say it because they are afraid of libs and muslim backlash. Also, it could be safe to say these guys were probeing our security. Maybe to see if they could send their luggage on a plane they were not on, which apparently worked. I say take these two azz clowns a couple hundred miles out and give them one pair of swimmies to fight over.

      August 30, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      I think it was George Bush! Clearly this is a right wing conspiracy to bring down the Obama administration! And it is racist!

      August 30, 2010 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hutch in Ky

      When will we learn. You have to have the every airport in the whole united states of america manned and with the best. Not the old folks who are looking for a job.

      August 30, 2010 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Russell

      Good work by security and air marshals. Test run for a new attack, glad our people were on the ball. Its just a matter of time before we get hit again. Sure we can pull out of Iraq and Afganastan but make no mistae this war is not over for America. Revelation!

      August 30, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • YourCaptain

      Peter – How refreshing to hear a sane voice amongst all the blowhards. Cheers!

      August 30, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry Towne

      So where was our homeland security at Chicago, most likely frisking a 75 year old lady and too busy to do their jobs.

      August 30, 2010 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremiah

      Aaron, someone needs to slap the crap out of you.

      August 30, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sorry

      Wrong. It's Muslim terrorists again. SUPRISE EVERYONE!

      [...]United Airlines Flight 908 Chicago-to Amsterdam: Hezem al Murisi And Ahmed Mohamed Nasser al Soofi Arrested By Dutch Police, Terror Charges[...]

      In addition, officials said, al Soofi was found to be carrying $7,000 in cash and a check of his luggage found a cell phone taped to a Pepto-Bismol bottle, three cell phones taped together, several watches taped together, a box cutter and three large knives. Officials said there was no indication of explosives and he and his luggage were cleared for the flight from Birmingham to Chicago O'Hare.

      August 30, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      To the idiots who didn't get the satire.....I realized that MN was joking and was playing on it. To the brave dude who likes to type's a lot easier to threaten to slap people on the internet than in person. Your type has been around as long as the local populace has had internet access.

      August 31, 2010 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
    • MNalso

      KB is not smart. People from Amsterdam are not Swedish, they are Hollish!

      August 31, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mike Stouffer

    Good bust!!

    August 30, 2010 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • 4nowhere20

      really? did they get on board in the first place?.....this whole homeland security thing is a bunch of bs

      August 30, 2010 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • craig

      I imagine the person who checked the luggage, but boarded a different flight merely bought tickets for two different flights w/two different airlines.. Checked the bag for one flight, then boarded the other.

      August 30, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • jst

      The whole Homeland Security 'thing' is NOT a bunch of bs.
      Their checked bags alarmed [baggage screening system] and were inspected. Mock bombs or components that could assist in making an ied were found, which led to the communique, causing the arrest of the individuals who checked in the baggage.
      The system in place works, The people [TSA], believe it or not are highly trained with the best technology to spot anomalies in baggage. What travelers see on the surface [screening checkpoints] is only a fraction of the TSA today.

      August 30, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • 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 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jerry

      @Claire: Just guessing but I'd say they let the bags go through, after allerting the authorities at the other end, so they'd have the "evidence" in the same place as the perpetrators to assist in prosecuting the case.

      August 30, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • PoPo

      we are all sitting ducks and most people don't even realize it. Go back to sleep.

      August 30, 2010 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dexter

    Why did we let them board? Why do we always let them board but my 10 year old has to be frisked, have his shoes taken off and traumatized every time we fly? Bin Laden won!

    August 30, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • brenda

      yeah, i'm sure your 10 year old is frisked. lying to make your point discredits it.

      August 30, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Simple solution, don't breed!

      August 30, 2010 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zurk

      @Brenda I've been frisked before every flight I've taken since I was 9 years old. Just because you don't have the same name as a terrorist doesn't mean that others are as lucky as yo.

      August 30, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      Seriously, if your 10 year old is getting "traumatized" by taking his shoes off, I'm not sure you should be letting him visit the bathroom alone.

      August 30, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • RC

      And you think OTHERS are the problem in this country! Ignorant.

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

      If your 10-year-old is traumatized by having to take his shoes off, he needs a therapist. Who will probably ask you, did you tell him about 9/11, what to expect at the airport, and why it is going to be done.

      August 30, 2010 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • nt2050nt2050

      I suspect the US Marshal are on the plane and tipped off the flight crows about the men

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

      Did you read the article? They knew BEFORE the Birmingham – Chicago flight that there were no explosives. They allowed the passenger to continue so they could allow surveillance to determine what was up. Amsterdam officials arrested him on US request.

      As Americans, we need to be more careful to pay attention to facts instead of jumping to conclusions and onto the bandwagon!

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

      Brenda: There are children on no-fly lists and my son (who was 10 at the time and thought it was funny) was "examined" by the geniuses in security. Why would you think Dexter would lie about a thing like that?
      The line for brain transplants starts on the left. I suggest you get on it

      August 30, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • M Snow

      Thanks TJ... it's just that trolls will skimp on the the truth to make a point...

      August 30, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • plumedenom

      tj ~ It's refreshing to know that someone here actually comprehended the article and uses their head for something other than a landing strip for basball caps.

      August 30, 2010 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • PoPo

      Nice name dexter.

      August 30, 2010 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • bill

      Bravo, Dexter. By the way, I did a search to find the names of these two guys, and found them on every site I visited - except one. Guess which one that was!

      August 31, 2010 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  4. teapartyman

    I bet it's those Amish again

    August 30, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tsshhh

      Amish extremists!

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

      They walk amongst us! Them and they're good furniture...

      August 30, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry Towne

      Ya, they were disquised as Osama Bin Laden, so got a free pass.

      August 30, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Inside fighting is creating inside terrorist. Wakeup America.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Brian

    Harold and Kumar?

    August 30, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. stormvet13

    how is it even possible they made it out of the U.S. with "MOCK" BOMBS in their luggage? This is BullSH$T!!

    August 30, 2010 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • tj

      Did you read the article? They were allowed to proceed to determine their plot. I cannot believe that this many people cannot comprehend a simple sequence of events as outlined in a news brief.

      August 30, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Groovy Girl

      TJ–the story has been updated since when these original posts were not everyone on here is stupid...

      August 30, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mr Pat

    Let's not jump to conclusions and blame muslims

    August 30, 2010 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Muslim

      Thank you, come again!!

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

      I'm not blaming muslims. I am, however, betting that these two are muslim. See the difference?

      August 30, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Yeah, Heaven forbid we should blame Muslims for anything.

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

      don't jump to conclusions but if someone put a gun to your head and said "guess the religion of the persons that were detained" you'd say Muslim if you had any common sense

      The vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists

      The vast majority of terrorists are Muslim

      simple truth

      August 30, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • tj

      Blaming Muslims for ALL terrorism and All Mexicans as being illegal makes it much simpler to ignore the violence in our own country committed in the name of drugs, love, religion by Americans. When the right wing fixes all of our illegal immigration issues and bombs the #^%& out of all the Muslim countries and disowns all poor, fat, and otherwise offensive subhumans, who will be responsible for the crime in the USA? I'd like to be at the head of that bandwagon!

      August 30, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      tj: I'm not blaming ALL Muslims for global terrorism, just the thousands and thousands of them that do it. I also don't blame ALL Mexicans for our illegal immigration problems, just the 11 or 12 million criminals that have done it and live here illegally. I have no problems with the Muslims that live peacefully, nor do I have any problems with the Mexicans who have legally immigrated to the U.S. or who choose to remain in Mexico.

      August 30, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob W

      I agree. "Ahmed Mohamed Nasser al Soofi" and "Hezem al Murisi" sure don't sound Muslim to me.

      August 30, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • bill

      It might comfort you, Mr. Pat, to pray for a couple of white guy terrorists, guys with names like Jones or Johnson, to get caught next time.

      August 31, 2010 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
  9. Brendhan

    What a comforting story considering I live near Chicago.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vibecat

      How come they always seem to be coming out of Chicago?

      August 30, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. nyc

    Why were the mock bombs not found in the USA before the flight???

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

      because we are failing in the homeland security department!....

      August 30, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. CombatVet

    Now, I'm not rushing to any judgments but, if it is later revealed they are Muslim or of Middle Eastern heritage, are we really surprised? No, we're not. The shocking part will be finding out they are Catholics, or Jews, or Baptists, or Mormons, or Buddhists, or Hindus. I'm betting next month's paycheck on them being Muslim. Just saying.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • bill

      Dear CombatVet, thank you for your service. I'd lay you odds that the Libs and CNN are praying that on the next airport arrest they WILL bag a Jew or Catholic or (even better) a Protestant white guy, so that the left wingers CAN scold you and me for rushing to judgement, fear-mongering, racial hatred and religious intolerance.

      August 31, 2010 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
  12. StephinOH

    Who said they were Muslims?!? Muslim's aren't the only extremists out there. Lots of whack-a-doo stuff going on in the name of "god".

    August 30, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sharon

      Absolutely right! Good point.

      August 30, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      You may be right, Stephin...but would you bet your children's lives on it being anybody else?

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

      The vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists

      The vas majority of terrorists are Muslm

      simple facts. You can lie to yourself and say it's not true if you like.

      signed, an atheist

      August 30, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • NS Indiana

      That's correct! A sh** ton of crazy things go on in the name of religion. The best part about this: "Christians" blaming Muslims for everything, and yet they, themselves are too blind to see the hate, prejudice, and discrimination coming out of their own religion. This world would be such a better place if no one believed in any of that hocus-pocus religious crap...

      Anti-theist, Atheist

      August 30, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ahmed Sullu

    They have no evil intentions, all they want is to clear up the space for the mosque currently occupied by the Sears tower.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • UScitizen

      lol. Exactly.

      August 30, 2010 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jeff

    How is Pepto taped to cell phones a danger....Does it get in the way while driving?

    August 30, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Tim

    I'm told their last names were McCain and Palin.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Couldn't be McCain and Palin...they don't need bombs to do their damage to our country. They somehow manage all on their own.

      August 30, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dustin S.

      You are hilarious... idiot.

      August 30, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
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