Dutch airport re-opens after bomb threat

2012-02-13 15:45
Police lead a blindfolded suspect away, in white, at Schiphol Airport, near Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Evert Elzinga, AP)

Police lead a blindfolded suspect away, in white, at Schiphol Airport, near Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Evert Elzinga, AP)

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Amsterdam - A major disruption at Amsterdam's busy Schiphol Airport ended on Monday after military police arrested a man who had locked himself in a toilet, claiming to have a bomb, officials said.

Authorities said that the operations at the airport - one of Europe's busiest aviation hubs - are back to normal after the incident led to the evacuation of two terminals and numerous flight delays.

Rob van Kapel, a spokesperson for the military police, refused to say whether the man had explosives on him, but said the suspect does not present any further danger to the public.

He said the suspect had been in communication with professional negotiators before he was taken into custody. Under Dutch privacy laws, the man's identity will not be disclosed.

Van Kapel said the man had hidden in a restroom on the upper floors of the airport, a panorama area accessible for people seeking to view aircraft taking off or landing.

He said prosecutors have begun a criminal investigation, and it was too early to say what charges the man might face or what his mental condition is.

On Christmas Day, 2009, Nigerian student Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab managed to smuggle explosives onto a flight from Schiphol to Detroit after flying into Amsterdam from Lagos.

He has pleaded guilty to trying to blow up the Northwest Airlines aircraft by injecting chemicals into a package of pentrite explosive concealed in his underwear and is due to be sentenced on Thursday. He faces life imprisonment.

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