NBC News' Pete Williams reports:
U.S. law enforcement officials confirm that a man who flew from the United States to Amsterdam has been detained by Dutch authorities after some odd things were found in his suitcase before he left. But two U.S. officials tell NBC News that he wasn’t detained at the request of American authorities and that he's simply being held temporarily by Dutch police while the matter is sorted out.
Both the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security say concern over the incident is quite low.
ABC News reported Monday that two men were picked up at Schiphol, the main Dutch airport near Amsterdam. U.S. officials tell NBC News the second man is thought to be uninvolved and was simply sitting by coincidence next to the first man, who's from Detroit.
The man aroused suspicion because although the man was flying from Chicago to Amsterdam, he sent his luggage on a different route, bound for Yemen.
In addition, "odd things" were found in his suitcase before he left the United States — watches and cell phones taped together, for example, and a cell phone taped to a Pepto-Bismol bottle. Officials say that no explosives were found and that security screeners determined that none of the materials were hazardous.
As strange as it may sound, travelers heading overseas often tape things together in their luggage for fear that the items will be damaged in transit, one of the officials pointed out.
Neither of the two men were previously of concern to law enforcement, a law enforcement official says, nor is there anything to suggest that they had ill intent.
A U.S. official says it appears the Dutch weren't asked to hold either man but were instead notified of the odd behavior and apparently decided on their own to detain them.