Schiphol airport evacuated due to bomb threat

Associated Press

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Airport police evacuated two terminals at Amsterdam's busy Schiphol Airport on Monday after receiving a bomb threat, a spokesman for the force said.

Officers evacuated two departure halls as they investigated the threat, said airport police spokesman Martijn Beelen. He gave no further details of the threat.

"There was a bomb threat and as a precaution we have evacuated departure halls one and two," Beelen said in a telephone interview.

Schiphol is one of Europe's busiest aviation hubs.

Local media reported that a man had shut himself in a restroom and claimed to have a bomb, but another airport police spokesman, Robert van Kapel, said he could not comment on the reports.

A woman filmed by local AT5 television departing the airport said her flight to Geneva had been canceled and she had been told the same story about a man claiming to have a bomb in the bathroom.

AT5 also filmed an arrest team entering the building, including one officer carrying what appeared to be a heavy-duty saw.

Beelen said he did not know if the threat had caused planes to be diverted. An hour after the incident began, spokespeople for the airport said they could not comment. The airport's website made no mention of the threat, but an increasing number of departures were being delayed by early afternoon.

Train traffic to and from Schiphol's underground station was not affected by the evacuation.

On Christmas Day, 2009, a Nigerian student managed to smuggle explosives 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 a package of pentrite explosive concealed in his underwear and is due to be sentenced Thursday. He faces life imprisonment.