Schiphol airport reopens after bomb threat

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By TOBY STERLING, Associated Press

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Dozens of flights were delayed Monday at Amsterdam's busy Schiphol Airport after a man claiming to have a bomb locked himself in a toilet, sparking the evacuation of two terminals, officials said.

The man was taken into custody after speaking with police negotiators and he turned out not to have any explosives. But operations at the airport — one of Europe's busiest aviation hubs — were seriously disrupted as two terminals were quickly evacuated but only slowly reopened.

Rob van Kapel, a spokesman for the military police, said the suspect does not present any further danger. However, bomb squads searched the building as part of the airport's security protocols.

Van Kapel said the man had hidden in a restroom on the upper floors of the airport, a panorama area for people to watch planes taking off or landing.

He said prosecutors have begun a criminal investigation but it was too early to say what charges the man might face or what his mental condition is.

State broadcaster NOS quoted police as saying the suspect was not carrying any identity papers and communication with him was proving difficult. NOS cited witnesses as saying the man had eaten at an airport restaurant and then refused to pay before blurting out his threat and fleeing to the bathroom.

TV footage after the arrest showed a thin young man in jeans and a sweatshirt with a mop of brown hair being led away by armed guards.

Schiphol has beefed up security in recent years after Nigerian student Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab managed to smuggle explosives in 2009 onto a flight from Schiphol to Detroit after flying into Amsterdam from Lagos.

He has pleaded guilty to trying to blow up the Northwest Airlines plane by injecting chemicals into an explosive concealed in his underwear and is due to be sentenced Thursday. He faces life imprisonment.

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