Investigations continuing into suspected 'terrorist' plot

1st September 2010, Comments 0 comments

Dutch prosecutors on Wednesday declined to give any details on the progress of their investigation into the actions of two Yemenis arrested in Amsterdam on suspicion of terrorism.

"The investigation is ongoing," prosecution spokesman Ernst Koelman told AFP following the arrest of the two men Monday morning after a flight from Chicago. US security had found a mobile phone taped to a bottle in their luggage.

"We have three days to complete the initial investigation, and that ends tomorrow (Thursday)," said Koelman.

The two men, identified by US media as Ahmed Mohamed Nasser al-Soofi, of Detroit, Michigan, and Hezam al-Murisi, are to appear before an examining judge on Thursday, who will decide whether to charge or free them, said Koelman.

Dutch prosecutors said Tuesday they were holding the men on suspicion of involvement in a "terrorist" plot, but US authorities have cautioned against "jumping to any conclusions".

Dutch newspapers speculated Wednesday that the arrests may have been a misunderstanding.

"Investigating sources say that the suspects do not even know each other," writes the Telegraaf popular daily.

Lawyer Klaas-Arjen Krikke, who represents one of the men, told the Telegraaf that the authorities had no proof of wrongdoing.

"I understand from the United States that nobody is impressed by the 'evidence'," Krikke was reported as saying. "I cannot imagine that there will be a prosecution in the Netherlands."

The men appear to have been travelling to the Yemeni capital Sanaa when they were apprehended in Amsterdam.

US authorities initially raised concerns because luggage with unusual items apparently belonging to Soofi ended up on a plane bound for Dulles airport outside Washington, while Soofi was on a flight to Amsterdam.

The luggage contained mobile phones taped together, and one taped to a plastic bottle.

© 2010 AFP

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