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Mid-air terror: All detained in Amsterdam are Indians

The interrogation of the Mumbai-born passengers has produced no evidence of terrorism, Dutch authorities inform.

india Updated: Aug 25, 2006 13:04 IST

All the 12 men arrested in Amsterdam for alleged suspicious behaviour on a Mumbai- bound US airliner are Indian nationals but their interrogation has produced no evidence of terrorism, Dutch authorities said on Thursday.

Local prosecutor Ed Hartjes said the men arrested on Wednesday were Indians but refused to go into details why there were in custody. They "got something" that was not allowed on board the flight and this matter was "important enough to be investigated", he said.

Dutch interrogators have so far found no signs that the men posed "a terrorist threat", a spokeswoman for Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner said in Amsterdam. She declined to say why they remained under arrest.

In New Delhi, Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma said the men were Mumbai-born and the Indian embassy in Amsterdam has been given consular access to them.

"We have got the list of the 12 people. They all were born in Mumbai. Nobody has been arrested as per the latest information but detentions are there," Sharma said.

Those detained were identified as Sohail Abdul Aziz Nizami, Ayub Qadir, Sajid Qadir, Yusuf Haji Ghaffar Memon, Nur Mohammed Batliwala, Shakeel Usman Chotani, Ayub Khan, Ehsan Farooqi, Ghulam Mustafa, Mohammed Yusuf, Mohammed Imran and Mohammed Iqbal Batliwala.

The Northwest Airlines flight from Minneapolis to Mumbai with 149 passengers was escorted back to Amsterdam's Schipol airport by two F-16 fighters yesterday after the crew reported that some passengers had displayed "behaviour of concern".