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One man from Detroit and a second man on a United Airlines flight from Chicago were detained Monday when the plane arrived in the Netherlands.
U.S. officials tell CBS News the luggage belonging to one of the men contained what appeared to be mock bombs, and they may have been testing the security system.
Correspondent Bob Orr reports officials are still trying to figure out whether or not this is a real threat.
Sources tell CBS News one of the men, Ahmed Mohammed Nasser al Soofi, had $7,000 in cash and what looked like mock explosive devices in two checked bags including seven cell phones–some of them taped to empty bottles–and watches taped to shampoo bottles.
The bags carrying the suspicious items did not go with al Soofi on the flight to Amsterdam. Instead the bags went to Dulles Airport near Washington where they were confiscated by U.S. authorities.
Officials say al Soofi, who originally was heading through Dulles to Yemen, had changed his itinerary to the Amsterdam flight.
Orr says while two men have been detained–authorities now say they are not linked to one another and the investigation is focused solely on al Soofi.
Investigators say this does not appear to be connected to any terror threat.
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,” according to ABC News.
A spokeswoman for the Detroit FBI office said all inquiries were being handled by the FBI in Washington D.C.
Travelers at Metro Airport Tuesday morning like Christina Gelvin of East China Township were surprised by this latest reported attempt at terror in the skies, that it makes you wonder what could happen.
“But then again, you can’t be focusing it on it as part of your day-to-day lives,” she said, while checking the status of her flight on the boards. “It’s always scary, it’s always out there. But it can’t keep you from doing what you have to do.”
“It always has something to do with Amsterdam, doesn’t it?” exclaimed Stephanie Calhoun of Taylor waiting at Metro Airport with her two young boys. “If they catch it it’s good thing but is’ always scary. You expect that when you go to the airport and all the security you expect it to be safe, not to worry about a terrorist attack.”
Photo: Suspects Ahmed Mohamed Nasser al-Soofi, left, and Hezem Abdullah Thabi al-Murisi, right.
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