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22 April 2024

Amsterdam airport suspect 'did not have bomb'


Dutch military police said Monday an unidentified man who locked himself in a toilet after making a bomb threat at Europe's fifth-largest airport had no explosives when he was arrested.

"We did not find any explosive device on him," military police spokesman Robert van Kapel told AFP, after the man earlier triggered a security scare at the Amsterdam's Schiphol airport.

Gendarmes arrested the man, described by a witness as "confused" after he locked himself in restrooms above Schiphol's busy terminal one and two departure halls, forcing the evacuation of mid-morning travellers.

Van Kapel said police were now trying to establish the man's name as he had no formal identification except some scribbled notes.

"He did not have any identification and at this stage we are trying to establish his identity and what exactly his motive was," Van Kapel said.

Another police spokesman, Martijn Peelen, earlier told AFP gendarmes evacuated mid-morning air travellers and sealed off Schiphol's departure halls one and two at around 11.00 am (1000 GMT).

A witness told the NOS website a "confused-looking" man apparently ate a meal at the airport's outdoor viewing platform and then refused to pay for it, locking himself in a toilet and making the threat to passers-by.

Van Kapel said the man remained in police custody and the investigation continued.

In the meantime, the two terminals had been reopened to passengers, Van Kapel said.

Between 120,000 and 140,000 passengers pass through Schiphol daily.

Airport spokesman Geert van der Varst earlier told AFP departing passengers and those who were evacuated from departure halls one and two were able to leave from halls three and four.

At least 30 flights were later listed as delayed on Schiphol's website.