Two Men On Chicago-To-Amsterdam Flight Arrested For "Preparing" Terror Attack

By
al Soofi (left) and al Murisi (right) Photo: CBS

Two U.S. residents of Yemeni descent, on a United Airlines flight that left O'Hare Airport Sunday night, were removed from the plane and charged with “preparation of a terrorist attack” by Dutch police when the plane touched down in the Netherlands Monday. U.S. officials said the two men - identified as Detroit resident Ahmed Mohamed Nasser and Hezem al Murisi - were traveling with “mock bombs” in their luggage, prompting one senior law enforcement official to comment, “This was almost certainly a dry run, a test.” The investigation is said to be ongoing, and the Dutch said the arrests were made “at the request of American authorities.”

The scariest part of the story? al Soofi made it through initial airport security screenings in Birmingham, Alabama despite officials noting he was carrying $7,000 in cash and had the following items in his luggage: “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.” (Authorities said he was not stopped because no explosives were found.)

Terror suspects on Chicago-to-Amsterdam flight arrested at airport for 'preparation' of attack [NYDN]
Two Men on United Flight from Chicago Arrested on 'Preparation of a Terrorist Attack' in Amsterdam [ABC News]

Update: The Times is reporting that there has not been an official charge yet and that the two men are currently detained. “There’s nothing at all confirmed at this point that’s associated with terrorism,” one official said.