Concert in Rotterdam canceled after terrorism tip from Spanish police
A concert by American band Allah-Las in the Maassilo in Rotterdam on Wednesday night, was canceled after the Spanish police tipped the Dutch authorities off about a potential terrorist threat. A few hundred meters from the Maassilo, the Rotterdam police pulled over a van with Spanish license plates and found gas bottles inside. The driver was arrested, RTL Nieuws reports.
According to Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, police officers noticed the delivery van on Mijnsherenlaan, close to the Maassilo, because the driver drove back and forth several times. The van was checked out by an Explosive Ordnance Disposal team. The driver is in custody for questioning.
A Spanish terrorism expert told news wire Reuters that the terrorist threat in Rotterdam is not related to recent terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils. Spanish media also reported later on Wednesday night that the driver of the van has no connection with terrorism and that the gas bottles were intended for home use. A spokesperson for the Rotterdam police told RTL on Thursday morning that the police can't confirm either of these statements yet.
"We must not jump to conclusions too quickly", Mayor Aboutaleb said about the arrested driver. According to him, the driver could just as easily be a plumber or a welder who happened to be in the area, driving up and down looking for an address.
On Twitter the police said that the emergency services are done in the area and that the investigation "obviously continues".
The terrorism threat level in the Netherlands was not increased after this tip. It is still at 4 out of 5, which means that there is a real chance of a terrorist attack in the country, but no concrete indications that one is being planned.
Het onderzoek bij de aan de Mijnsherenlaan aangetroffen bestelwagen is in volle gang. pic.twitter.com/rU69spJjJI— MediaTV (@mediatvnl) August 23, 2017
Mijnsherenlaan Rotterdam: Ook brandweer en ambulance zijn ook ter plaatse. Het afzetgebied wordt inmiddels fors uitgebreid. pic.twitter.com/EKqE6Cs751— Flashphoto NL (@flashphotoNL) August 23, 2017