German police boarded a plane at Cologne airport and arrested two terrorist suspects on Friday just before the plane took off for Amsterdam.
A 23-year-old Somali man and a 24-year-old German man born in Somalia were arrested before the KLM flight left the airport, a spokeswoman for North Rhine-Westphalia state police said. Police spokeswoman Katharina Breuer said that officers boarded the plane and arrested the men without incident. The authorities do not think the men planned to abduct the flight.
Germany’s top-selling Bild newspaper, citing police sources, said the men had been under observation for months and a suicide note was found in their apartment saying that they wanted to die for the “jihad” or “holy war.”
A KLM spokeswoman told NOS news in the Netherlands that police boarded the Fokker 50 jet when it was at its “point of departure” and grabbed the two suspects. She said all other passengers aboard KLM Flight 1804 were then forced to leave the plane. “Then a ‘baggage parade’ took place to see if the two passengers who were taken by the police had bags with them,” the spokeswoman said.
She said the plane took off after an hour delay and landed at Schipol airport in the Netherlands without further incident.