Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport was evacuated this evening after a bomb scare involving at least one suspect who remains in custody. Late Tuesday evening a man at the busy Amsterdam airport was taken into custody after the airport was evacuated by heavily armed police officers.
Shops near the evacuated airport were also locked down as the Amsterdam police sent in a bomb squad to investigate a suspicious bag which was reportedly left behind by the man who is currently still in custody.
Amsterdam had the airport evacuated in the early hours of Tuesday evening, in response to a “suspicious individual” who was later taken into custody. Photos on social media show the airport being locked down by heavily armed police officers, as the terminals were evacuated for security concerns. Details remain unclear, however, reports the Wall Street Journal.
“We got a call from someone at the airport saying there is a suspicious man. He was arrested,” said Amsterdam police spokesman Alfred Ellwanger this evening.
According to the Daily Mail, six other individuals were taken into custody by heavily armed police but were later released without charges. The only suspect who remains in custody was the “suspicious man” reported to police. The Amsterdam police sent a bomb detection robot which reportedly inspected the suspicious package and found no evidence of explosive material.
Reportedly, Amsterdam police officers and security forces swarmed the evacuated airport, sweeping it top to bottom for any suspicious or potentially explosive material. The airport was locked down by police after it was evacuated. Heavily armed Amsterdam police forces cordoned off the evacuated airport terminal pending a full sweep of the area.
Bomb disposal units were dispatched to the evacuated airport just moments later, and using bomb detection robots, the airport terminal was cleared and Amsterdam police began to allow travelers back into the busy Amsterdam airport.
The Amsterdam airport evacuation comes just three weeks after the terrorist attacks at the Brussels airport in Belgium which killed 32 people and injured upwards of 340 others. Security experts claim that ISIS likely maintains extensive networks throughout Europe, as the militant organization faces devastating losses on the battlefield and more and more fighters return to Europe from Syria, after having trained as ISIS operatives.
It is not clear whether or not the suspicious individual who caused the Amsterdam airport to be evacuated had any ties to any criminal organizations like ISIS, or if he was merely taken into custody out of an abundance of caution. The Amsterdam police have confirmed the suspicious man is still in custody, but have not confirmed whether or not he will be charged with a crime.
The Amsterdam police re-opened the evacuated airport just hours ago after clearing the terminal where the suspicious individual was taken into custody. Amsterdam police reiterated in a statement this evening that no explosive materials were found, and the suspicious individual remains in custody.
After the attacks in Brussels last month, authorities in Amsterdam boosted surveillance and security at the Schiphol airport in order to discourage and prevent a similar attack at the busy Amsterdam airport – which saw nearly 58 million passengers pass through its gates in 2015. The busy Amsterdam airport is a hub of European air travel, and security forces throughout Amsterdam have been on high alert ever since the Brussels attacks.
As Inquisitr reported previously, the Brussels attacks have had a profound effect on security services throughout Europe – fears of ISIS infiltration and suicide bombing attacks have caused authorities in many European nations to step up security around so-called soft targets including airports, train stations, and any location where unarmed civilians routinely gather in unsecured areas.
[Photo by AP Photo/Peter Dejong]