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Briton in airport 'terror' arrest

A British man of Somali descent has been arrested at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport for possible links to a terrorist group.

The man was arrested after flying in from Liverpool and before he flew out to Uganda, prosecutors' spokesman Evert Boersma said, without specifying what terror group was involved.

"He was arrested on the tip-off from British authorities," Boersma said.

Dutch state broadcaster NOS reported that the suspect is allegedly linked to Somalia's most dangerous militant group, al-Shabab, which has claimed responsibility for suicide bombing attacks at UN facilities and other targets, including July attacks in Uganda's capital during the World Cup final that killed 76 people.

Al-Shabab said those blasts were in retaliation for civilian deaths caused by African Union troops in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, and the group has called for Uganda to withdraw its peacekeeping forces from Somalia.

Militant veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts help train al-Shabab fighters, one of the reasons the sophistication of its attacks has risen in recent months. The al Qaida-linked group in the past has recruited Somali-Americans to carry out suicide bombings in Mogadishu.

Dutch prosecutors could not immediately confirm the NOS report.

Amsterdam's airport has significantly beefed up its security measures since Christmas Day, after it was a departure point for a Nigerian student, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who allegedly tried to blow up a plane above the US by setting off explosives hidden in his underwear.

He was tackled by passengers and crew, and is now charged in a US federal court in Detroit with attempting to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 with 278 passengers and 11 crew members aboard. Abdulmutallab insists on representing himself.

Last month, two Yemeni men were arrested at the Amsterdam airport after flying in from Chicago, on suspicion they may have been conducting a dry run for an airline terror attack. The two were held for several days then released without charge after an investigation turned up no evidence to link them to a terror plot.


From Belfast Telegraph