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No evidence of terrorism from the men taken off from US airliner

Written by: Staff
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London, Aug 24 (UNI) The Dutch justice minister this evening said the interrogation of 12 men who were taken off from a US airliner after they aroused the suspicions of air marshals and crew produced no evidence of terrorism.

Although the investigation into yesterday's event are continuing, Judith Sluiter, a spokeswoman for Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner said, "So far there are no signs that this was a terrorist threat".

She, however, declined to say why the men remained under arrest.

Authorities have three days to bring the suspects to court to seek their further detention or release.

A US government official said crew members and air marshals on board of the Northwest DC-10 bound for Mumbai, India, saw the passengers trying to use mobile phones and passing the phones among themselves while the airliner was taking off. He spoke on condition of anonymity.

Passengers described the men as between 25 and 35 years of age and speaking Urdu. Some had beards and some wore 'shalwar kameez'.

In a recording of air control communications, the Northwest pilot declined an offer to put fire engines on standby for the unscheduled landing at Schiphol.

UNI XC MS MIR RN2240

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