Rock concert canceled in Rotterdam over terrorist threat, Spanish van with gas bottles found near
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Published time: 23 Aug, 2017 21:07 Edited time: 23 Aug, 2017 21:24
The driver of a van with Spanish license plates and gas canisters inside has been detained in Rotterdam, the mayor’s office confirmed. The van was found where the venue where a concert was earlier canceled due to a “terrorist threat.”
The mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb, told a news conference that a vehicle with Spanish license plates and gas bottles was found near the Maassilo venue in the city, where a rock concert due to take place on Wednesday was canceled.
The driver of the van was detained and taken in for questioning.
Police did not mention the nature of the threat, but said their investigation was ongoing.
“Police took this information seriously enough that, after a discussion with the organizers, it was decided to cancel the event,” the Rotterdam police said in their statement.
The tip-off on the threat came from the Spanish police.
A Californian band called the Allah-Lahs was due to play at the venue.
The Allah-Lahs, a four-piece band, told the Guardian newspaper last year that they wanted a “holy sounding” name for their group and didn’t think it would offend Muslims. On Wednesday, they were escorted away from Maassilo while armed officers secured the perimeter.
Authorities in Spain, the Netherlands and across Europe are on alert after a series of terrorist attacks in which vehicles have been to plow into innocent bystanders, the latest of which happened in Barcelona last Thursday, in which another van was used to fatally run down 13 people on the popular Las Ramblas street. It’s not yet clear whether the van found in Rotterdam is connected to the cell that carried out the Barcelona attack, or any other terrorist group.