Yemenis in terror alert released

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The Independent Online

Two Yemeni men arrested on arrival from the United States on suspicion that they may have been conducting a dry run for an airline terror attack were released without charge yesterday. Investigations turned up no evidence to link them to a terror plot, Dutch prosecutors said.

The national prosecutor's office said in a statement on its website that because of the lack of evidence "there is no reason to hold the men any longer".

Ahmed Mohamed Nasser al-Soofi and Hezam al-Murisi were arrested by airport police in Amsterdam on a United Airlines flight from Chicago on Monday. Prosecutors said an initial test by US authorities on an item of luggage belonging to one of the men "showed the possible presence of a trace of explosives". However "more accurate" later tests did not reveal any signs of explosive material, the prosecutors said.

Mr Soofi and Mr Murisi missed flights to Washington Dulles International Airport from Chicago, and United Airlines then booked them on the same flight to Amsterdam. The men were sitting near each other on the flight, but not together.

Mr Soofi also raised suspicions in the United States on Sunday because he was carrying $7,000 in cash.

An inspection of his checked luggage uncovered a mobile phone taped to a small bottle, multiple mobile phones and watches taped together, and a knife and box cutter.