Netherlands flight alert suspects to be freed

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Two F-16 fighter jets escorted the plane back to Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport.

The twelve people arrested after a US flight had to make an emergency landing in Amsterdam yesterday will be released, Dutch prosecutors say. "From the statement of suspects and witnesses, no evidence could be brought forward that these men were about to commit an act of violence," said a prosecution statement. It also added that no bombs were found by police on the aircraft.

The Northwest Airlines flight, which was destined for Mumbai in India, was escorted back to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport due to a security alert.

The plane, which had 149 passengers on board, was accompanied by two F-16 fighter jets after passengers became concerned about a group of Asian men who were fidgeting with plastic bags and mobile phones.

On landing, the twelve passengers were taken off the plane and interrogated by police.

Since August 10, when police in the UK claimed they had foiled a suspected plot to blow up several transatlantic planes, there have been several similar incidents.