Two men taken off a Chicago-to-Amsterdamin have been charged by Dutch police with "preparation of a terrorist attack," U.S. law enforcement officials tell ABC News.U.S. officials said the two appeared to be travelling with what were termed "mock bombs" in their luggage.
"This was almost certainly a dry run, a test," said one senior law enforcement official.A spokesman for the Dutch public prosecutor, Ernst Koelman, confirmed the two men were arrested this morning and said "the investigation is ongoing." He said the arrests were made "at the request of American authorities."
The two were allowed to board the flight at O'Hare airport last night despite security concerns surrounding one of them, the officials said.
The men were identified as Ahmed Mohamed Nasser al Soofi, of Detroit, MI, and Hezem al Murisi, the officials said. A neighbor of al Soofi told ABC News he is from Yemen.
Airport security screeners in Birmingham, Alabama first stopped al Soofi and referred him to additional screening because of what officials said was his "bulky clothing."
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.
Once in Chicago, officials say they learned al Soofi checked his luggage on a flight to Washington's Dulles airport for connections on flights to Dubai and then Yemen, even though he did not board the flight himself.
Full story here.
Dulles? I wonder if there is any connection between this story and the next one:
What exactly the person said is unclear, but it was considered enough of a "threat" to prompt the pilot to make a decision to boot that person and eight accompanying passengers off the Tampa-bound flight, AOL Travel News has learned.
United spokeswoman Megan McCarthy says she can confirm only that the passengers were removed from the flight after the comment, talked with United representatives at Dulles and were re-booked on another flight. She would not disclose the nature of the comment.
A spokeswoman for the says officers were called to the gate area, but the passengers were already off the plane when they arrived and they were not involved in the interviews. No one was detained.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was asked to check the passenger names against its "no fly" list, but otherwise was not involved in the incident.
"We are aware of the situation," a TSA spokesman says.
Other passengers continued on to Tampa as scheduled.