Thursday, August 24, 2006

12 Detainees are from Mumbai

Dutch Justice Ministry rules out terrorism - "All the twelve suspects detained on a Northwest airlines flight to Mumbai were born in Mumbai. And though the allegations against the detainees are unclear, the Dutch justice minister has said that the detentions are not related to terrorism.

Dutch authorities say that they have been detained because they displayed suspicious behaviour on board a Northwest airline flight. The Ministry of External Affairs is in touch with the Dutch officials for consular access to the detainees.

A list containing the names of suspects has been sent to MEA. As of now, no criminal charges have been framed against them. According to MEA sources, the detained men are said to be largely in their 20s and 30s.

The flight with 149 people on board was turned back on Wednesday and escorted by F16s over German skies to Schiphol airport. Some eyewitnesses reported that the suspicious passengers were using mobile phones and passing them around despite orders by US marshals on board not to.

Some say they even refused to listen to crewmembers who asked them to fasten their seat belts. The flight to Mumbai took off at 9 am on Thursday morning and the return flight to the United States was scheduled for Friday.

Northwest flight 42 was just minutes into its journey to Mumbai when it turned back to Amsterdam accompanied by two Dutch fighter jets. Wednesday's security alert was the first at Amsterdam's international airport since last September, when a British Airways flight returned in similar circumstances. It later turned out to be a false alarm.

Security has been raised at airports worldwide in the last two weeks since UK police foiled a plot by British Muslims to blow up planes in the mid-Atlantic using liquid explosives."

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