Dutch military police detained a 29-year-old British man at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport after he reportedly shouted bomb threats in the terminal.
Passengers alerted police at around 8am on Friday after the man repeatedly claimed to be carrying a bomb. Armed police forced the man to lie spread-eagled on the floor at gunpoint before leading him away for questioning.
A section of departure hall 3 was briefly evacuated while police searched the man and his luggage with sniffer dogs. Police confirmed that the man was carrying no explosives.
Military police spokesman Eric Vermeulen said: “The man was walking through departure hall 3 when passengers heard him shout out several times that he had a bomb. They were concerned enough to inform the police, who subdued him and searched him with explosives search dogs.
“We have established that this was a false alarm and the man is the only suspect. We now want to find out why he decided to cause a false alarm.
“The whole incident lasted 20 to 30 minutes. We are pleased that passengers were alert to this incident and alerted the military police.”
The spokesman confirmed that the man was 29 years old and travelling on a British passport, but gave no further details.
After questioning the man will be handed over to prosecution officials, who will decide whether to release him pending further inquiries or detain him until a possible court hearing on Monday.
A spokeswoman for the airport said the incident caused no more than 30 minutes’ delay to one check-in queue.
“It was only the one check-in line that had to be evacuated for maximum half an hour, if that,” she said. “Security control remained open as it is located further away,” she said.
Pictures on social media showed the man lying on the floor while officers pointed rifles at him, while nearby passengers continued queuing for their flights, seemingly oblivious to the drama.