‘Dry Run’ Terror Suspects Carrying ‘Mock Bombs’ Under Questioning in Amsterdam

August 31, 2010

(ChattahBox)—Two men flying from Chicago to Amsterdam may have been conducting a terrorist “dry run” to test airport security. The men were also carrying suspicious items taped together in their luggage, officials called “mock bombs, such as cell phones taped to a bottle of antacid. The men, of unknown national origin, but believed to be from Yemen, were here in the U.S. legally. The men, identified, as Ahmed Mohamed Nasser al-Soofi and Hezem al-Murisi, are being held at Amsterdam’s Schiphol International and are being questioned by Dutch authorities for a possible “preparation of a terrorist attack,” but they have not been charged.

Ahmed Mohamed Nasser al-Soofi, in particular, raised red flags with U.S. airport security, when it was discovered, he boarded a flight from Chicago to Amsterdam, but his luggage was checked on a different flight bound for Washington’s Dulles International Airport, with planned stops in Dubai and Yemen. The Washington flight was called back and al-Soofi’s luggage was removed from the airline. The suspicious items in the man’s luggage are now under investigation by U.S. law enforcement officials.

According to CNN’s report, al-Soofi, also raised suspicion for carrying $7,000 in cash, but he was ultimately cleared to fly. Federal air marshals were on board the Amsterdam flight. After being informed by U.S. authorities of the suspicious activity of al-Soofi and al-Murisi, Dutch authorities decided to detain them for questioning.

“The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said Monday they were arrested after “suspicious items” in their luggage raised concern.”

“The items were not deemed to be dangerous in and of themselves, and as we share information with our international partners, Dutch authorities were notified of the suspicious items,” the U.S. agency said. “This matter continues to be under investigation.”

On Monday, U.S. law enforcement officials, said al-Soofi and al-Murisi may have been testing airport security with a “dry run.”

“U.S. officials said the two appeared to be traveling with what were termed “mock bombs” in their luggage. “This was almost certainly a dry run, a test,” said one senior law enforcement official.”

“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.”

The two men sat close to each other on the Amsterdam flight, but not next to each other. Authorities plan to continue to question al-Soofi and al-Murisi to determine if they were acting in concert.

Photo Source: ABC News report screen grab.


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