Dutch police arrest alleged terror suspects

31st August 2010, Comments 0 comments


Two men have been arrested at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport on suspicion of preparing a terrorist attack.

The men were captured on Monday at the request of US authorities when they arrived on a flight from Chicago. TV network ABC was one of the earliest to report the arrests:

"We're learning about another alleged attempt terrorist attack with Detroit ties. Two men taken off a United Airlines flight headed from Chicago to Amsterdam have been charged now with preparation of a terrorist attack. One man is identified as Ahmed Mohamed Nasser al-Soofi from Detroit. No word on where the second man is from."

The men were assumed to be Yemenis. It later turned out the two were not related in any way and investigations subsequently focused on Mr al-Soofi.

Suspicious items The US Homeland Security Department had warned Dutch judicial authorities that "suspicious items" had been spotted in the men's luggage. The objects in question were "not dangerous in themselves", but looked like "fake bombs", according to US broadcaster ABC. One of the suspects carried 7,000 dollars in cash.

The ABC report said, "Police found a cell phone taped to a Pepto-Bismol bottle, three cell phones taped together and also several watches. However, no explosives were found. This investigation continues."

It is not clear why the men were allowed to fly on to Europe despite having been identified as possible terrorists rehearsing an attack.

When it turned out that the men's luggage was in the hold of another craft than the one they were flying on, the alarm was raised. The plane with the luggage returned to the US, where the objects in question were confiscated.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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