Dutch still holding two men over air security scare
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch police are still holding two men arrested at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam who triggered a security scare after boarding a Europe-bound flight from the United States, the prosecutor said on Tuesday.
The men flew with United Flight 908 from Chicago O'Hare to Amsterdam on Sunday night and were arrested on Monday morning after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said they found suspicious items in their luggage.
A Dutch prosecution spokesman said two men were in custody and were being questioned by Dutch authorities. He did not comment on whether they had been charged.
Dutch agency ANP said one of the men had been charged with attempted arson and preparing an attack.
The circumstances of the security alert are still sketchy, but a U.S. law enforcement official had earlier said the men did not have banned items in their carry-on luggage.
"As far as we know the security has not been jeopardized," a spokeswoman with the Dutch counter-terrorism agency NCTb said.
She said Dutch authorities were in contact with the United States and that the matter was being taken "very seriously." A lot of details still needed to be clarified, she said.
ABC News cited officials as saying that a cell phone taped to a Pepto-Bismol bottle, a box cutter and three large knives were found in the luggage and that one of the men was carrying $7,000 in cash.
Dutch authorities declined to comment on the luggage.
The arrests quickly revived memories of an alleged attempted bombing last Christmas on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.
Suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is charged with trying to blow up a Delta Air Lines flight as it approached Detroit with an explosive device hidden in his underwear.
(Reporting by Harro ten Wolde, Aaron Gray-Block and Ben Berkowitz)
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