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Dutch Police Arrest 12 Plane Passengers

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May 25, 2004
Dallas, TX USA
Since the audio file at the bottom has a backstory to it, I thought that I'd post the whole, here. Admin/Mod, please move if necessary, thanks.

Netscape News said:
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - Dutch F-16s escorted a Northwest Airlines flight bound for India back to an airport here Wednesday after the pilot radioed for help, and police arrested 12 passengers who had aroused suspicions, authorities said.

Police spokesman Rob Staenacker said he could not disclose their nationalities or the nature of the suspicions against them, only that "12 people have been arrested.'' An American passenger, who identified herself only as Alpa, told AP Television News she saw about a dozen people taken off the plane in handcuffs.

While Flight NO0042 was over German airspace shortly after takeoff, the pilot radioed for permission to return to Schiphol Airport and asked for an escort of jet fighters because some of the passengers were acting suspiciously, the Defense Ministry said.

"A number of them behaved, in the opinion of the crew, in a suspicious manner,'' said the ministry. "As a result, the captain asked to return to Schiphol.''

A U.S. government official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject, said crew members and air marshals observed the passengers trying to use cell phones and passing them among themselves while the airliner was taking off.

"It was behavior that average passengers wouldn't do,'' the official said.
Wait a minute -- if it the subject is so "sensitive," then why say anything at all?

I know that personal electronics are supposed to be turned off during takeoff and landing, but...watch cellphones [and/or even small radios/scanners/HTs] be banned from commercial aircraft.

Netscape News said:
The DC-10 was escorted back to Schiphol by two F-16s scrambled from a northern military airfield, the Defense Ministry said. Routine security measures were swiftly put into place.

The plane was carrying 149 passengers, when it turned around after crossing the German border. A Northwest DC-10 has a normal seating capacity of 273.

The Dutch National Terrorism Coordinator's Office was informed, but said there was no reason to raise the national threat level, spokeswoman Judith Sluiter said.

The flight was canceled until Thursday, and the passengers were put up in hotels, Northwest said.

"It is the same as it was before - light threat,'' said Sluiter.

Like airports around the world, Schiphol raised the level of security two weeks ago when British police announced they had uncovered a plot to blow up several U.S.-bound commercial jetliners, but Kuypers said threat levels had returned to normal.

Several alerts have been sounded since the terrorism plot was outlined in London. On Friday, a British plane made an emergency landing in southern Italy after a bomb scare, and the U.S. Air Force scrambled jets to escort a United Airlines flight from London to
Washington as it was diverted to Boston.

Wednesday's security alert was the first at Amsterdam's international airport since September, when a British Airways flight returned in similar circumstances. It turned out to be a false alarm.
[I'd link to the source, but it may request a password.]

Looks like the "Friendly Skies" are getting a little crappier every day. :(

Audio: Northwest Airlines 042 Radio Comms [click]


Nov 30, 2005
Twin Cities, MN
That flight (Flight 42) originated in Minneapolis on Tuesday, about the same time areas of the airport were being evacuated because of an unknown chemical making about a dozen TSA employees sick. The flight then landed in Amsterdam, passengers switched planes and they were heading to India when they were turned around. This was a story on our local media. (http://www.kmsp.tv/news/story.asp?1655129) Last night officials were saying there was no link between this story and the Dutch arrests. The unknown chemical turned out to be mase/pepper spray dumped into one of the collection bins at a checkpoint because of the no liquid rule. Another story that was recently downplayed in our local media was the release of a chemical in a food court at the Mall of America on Sunday afternoon/evening making about a dozen people sick. I never even heard of this incident until the incident at the Airport on Tuesday. Mall security said there was no way there was a relation between the two incidents, even though the two locations are about a mile apart.
Anyway I guess the lesson is be alert & never forget!


Nov 18, 2004
Vancouver, Washington
The leson is to not be so damn stupid.

If you dump a bunch of chemicals into the same container becuase "they may not be safe on a plane" then you ha better be able to contain that container when the chemicals all begin to get knocked around and some begin to leak onto others, ever sprayed mace into a bottle of head and shoulders, pretty nasty stuff there, cant wash off, burns for days, and marks the person for at least a week, not allot of places one can hide when your face is the size of a watermelon.

My poor cousin lol.

We did some stupid stuff in the late 80's.


Mar 1, 2005
IMO the use of cell phones should be prohibited and strictly enforced - use your phone and you are blacklisted with all carriers (emergencies like hijacking excepted of course).
Unfortunately it looks like some airlines are actually going to enable cell phone use, not just by policy but also technically. I can already hear all the idots calling "We are landing in xx minutes" ...
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