Man in Dutch airport scare accused of 'false bomb threat'
A drunk Polish homeless man who triggered a major security alert at Amsterdam airport by claiming to be a "terrorist" faces charges of sparking a bomb hoax, prosecutors said Thursday.
The man, who has not been named, was freed Thursday morning having spent two nights in detention after Dutch military police partially evacuated Schiphol airport late Tuesday.
"When the security forces asked him if he had a bomb, he at first said yes and then denied it," the Dutch prosecution service said.
He now must appear before a court in Haarlem, south of Amsterdam, on June 21 to answer the charge "of making a false bomb threat".
The 25-year-old man, who told police "he was a terrorist," had sparked a scare late Tuesday after the police were tipped off to a "suspicious situation".
He had two backpacks with him, although they may have been stolen, which he had dumped on the outside public area of the airport.
When a sniffer dog seemed to indicate the bags contained explosives, the police sent in the bomb disposal squad.
No explosives were found, but as a precaution heavily-armed military police had already swooped on the busy travel hub and evacuated hundreds of people from the main public plaza.
The incident at one of Europe's busiest airports came exactly three weeks to the day after the Brussels attacks left 32 people dead.
The Netherlands has stepped up security at airports and main travel hubs since the suicide bombings at a Brussels airport and on the metro.
© 2016 AFP