Brabant suspect posted Rotterdam terror threat online
A 22-year-old man arrested in Zevenbergen, Noord-Brabant early on Thursday morning, posted a threat in which he promised an attack during a concert by American band Allah-Las in Rotterdam's Maassilo on Wednesday night, Minister Stef Blok of Security and Justice confirmed to BNR, calling it an"idiotic action".
"We are very curious to hear from him why he committed this idiotic action", the Minister said to the broadcaster. He described the posted message as very alarming. He would not say anything about the content.
The Las-Allah concert ended up being canceled on Wednesday night, based on a tip from the Spanish police. A spokesperson for the Rotterdam police confirmed to the Volkskrant that the threat the young Zevenbergen man posted was the one the Spanish police warned them about.
The 22-year-old man was arrested at home on the outskirts of Zevenbergen, where he still lives with his parents. Neighbor Henk van Geesen described him as a "very calm boy" to the Volkskrant. "I can not imagine that he did such a thing. His name is Jim, is still in school - what he studies, I don't now - and comes from a very ordinary Dutch family. His parents are still on holiday, they will not be happy when they come home", he said to the newspaper.
A Spanish man was arrested in the neighborhood of the Maassilo on Wednesday night, about 2.5 hours after the Allah-Las concert was set to start. The police noticed a van with Spanish license plates driving up and down Mijnsherenlaan and decided to check it out. After finding gas bottles inside the van, they arrested the driver. He has now been released. The man is a mechanic, which is why he had gas bottles and tools in his car. He was also drunk, explaining his suspicious driving behavior. He had nothing to do with the terrorist threat, the police confirmed. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Minister Blok does not want to call this a false alarm, instead calling it "a combination of factors" which triggered the police to respond. "Fortunately we could conclude that the threat was not set into action. But someone spreading this kind of thing, there's something wrong with", he said.
Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb is looking to reschedule the Allah-Las concert, to compensate the 900 people who bought tickets for the canceled show, according to the newspaper.