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Terror in Rotterdam: false alarm with the first suspect

Thursday, August 24th, 2017 | World News

After the cancellation of a rock concert due to a terror warning in Rotterdam, the police arrested another man in the night of Thursday. The previously arrested driver of a delivery van with some gas cylinders is probably harmless – the Spaniard is a mechanic and was drunk.

According to reports from the broadcaster NOS, the second suspect was taken into custody at around 2 o'clock by emergency personnel in his apartment in the province of Nordbrabant, bordering Belgium, in connection with an attack. The house of the 22-year-old had been searched, the man was interrogated.

Policemen search the suspicious van with Spanish license plate. (Source: RTL via AP / AP / dpa)

The driver of a van with gas cylinders, who had been arrested the night before in Rotterdam, was probably harmless. He could give a clear explanation for the gas bottles in his car. The Spaniard was a mechanic and drunk.

The car was noticeable near a Wednesday night concert of the American band Allah-Las because of his riding style, the police had previously informed. The vehicle had also Spanish plates worn. The man had no connections to the jihadist scene. Spanish investigators had excluded this early.

 Policemen lock the access to the venue in Rotterdam. (Source: RTL via AP / AP / dpa)

They had warned their Dutch colleagues of a possible danger. The mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, said on Wednesday evening, however, that it could not be said at the time that there had been a plan of action.

The performance of the musicians, whose name selection, according to own data has nothing to do with religious content, had nevertheless been canceled out of caution. "Maassilo", where the band was supposed to perform in front of around 1000 spectators, kicked off the event. The musicians from California left the place under police protection. When the cancellation was announced, only a few concertgoers were on site.

"Allah-Las" have been receiving threats for some time
They were grateful that the potential danger was discovered before someone had been injured, the musicians explained. The band from California wanted to travel to Poland on Thursday for a concert in Warsaw.

In Spain, 15 people were killed last week by an Islamic terrorist cell. The assassins had originally planned explosive attacks with gas bottles. Their bomb workshop, however, exploded before they could carry out their plans.

The concert of the "Allah-Las" was canceled after a terror warning. (Source: Hugo Marie / EPA / dpa)

The Allah-Las are a four-piece band from Los Angeles. Band members told the British newspaper "The Guardian" last year in an interview that they had chosen the word "Allah" because they wanted a band name that sounded sacred, and they had not been aware that it might trigger offense.

"We receive emails from Muslims, here in the US and around the world, who say they felt offended, but that was not our intention," said Frontsänger Miles Michaud.

The concert was held in the "Maassilo", a former grain store in the port of Rotterdam. (Source: Archivbild / F.Eveleens / Wikimedia / Creative Commons 3.0)

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