Man held over bomb threat to Amsterdam airport (Lead)

February 13th, 2012 - 10:53 pm ICT by IANS  

The Hague, Feb 13 (IANS) A man who claimed to have a bomb at the Schiphol airport in the Netherlands capital Amsterdam was arrested Monday, police said. Two airport terminals were evacuated after the man locked himself in a toilet.

The bomb threat came around 11 a.m. and as a precaution the Marechaussee — the Dutch military police — immediately decided to evacuate terminals 1 and 2 to secure the safety of passengers, police told Xinhua.

The suspect surrendered around 1 p.m., a military police spokesman said.

According to the BBC, a bomb squad and scores of police officials reached the spot immediately after the threat.

The terminals reopened about four hours later, after officials said the man posed no threat to the public.

However, flights were delayed in one of Europe’s busiest airports. Till 4 p.m., the airport’s website showed 16 cancellations to inbound flights and 11 to departures.

The BBC said police were investigating whether the suspect had explosives in his luggage.

TV footage showed police wearing balaclavas, and with guns and dogs outside the building.

This was not the first terrorist incident at the airport.

In December 2009, Nigerian student Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab smuggled explosives on a flight from Schiphol to Detroit, US, after flying into Amsterdam from Lagos.

He later pleaded guilty to plotting to blow up the Northwest Airlines plane he boarded. He faces life imprisonment.

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