There is no evidence that 12 men who were removed from a US airliner after they aroused the suspicions of air marshals were involved in terorrism, the Dutch justice minister said Thursday.
"From what is known until now, it does not appear that this is terrorism related," Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner told reporters in The Hague.
Donner declined to say why the men remained in custody, though he said the reason the incident was treated so seriously was "connected with their behavior." The investigation into Wednesday's drama was continuing.
A US government official said crew members and air marshals on board the Northwest DC-10 bound for Bombay, India, saw the passengers trying to use mobile phones and passing the phones among themselves while the airliner was taking off.