Flight Risk

Terror Suspects Arrested Aboard United Flight

First, there was Amsterdam “underwear bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutullab. Now, officials arrested two men aboard a Chicago-to-Amsterdam United Airlines flight, after it touched down in the Netherlands. The suspects, Ahmed Mohamed Nasser al Soofi, of Detroit, and Hezem al Murisi, were charged with “preparation of a terrorist attack” and arrested “at the request of American authorities,” according to a spokesman for Dutch public prosecutor Ernst Koelman. Al Soofi made his way through airport security screenings in Birmingham, Alabama, despite officials finding $7,000 in cash, a cellphone taped to a Pepto-Bismol bottle, several watches taped together, a box cutter, and three large knives in his luggage. He then boarded a flight from Birmingham to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, where he checked his luggage on a flight to Washington’s Dulles International with connections to Dubai and Yemen, his reported homeland. Al Soofi did not board the flight, and was then joined by Al Murisi, according to officials. When they learned al Soofi was not on the flight from Dulles to Dubai, officials ordered the plane back to the gate so his luggage could be removed, and found no evidence of explosives.