Dutch police detain suspect in concert terror threat

RTL via AP OFFICERS STAND BEHIND a cordoned-off area in Rotterdam in the Netherlands after a concert by an American rock band was cancelled Wednesday night due to a threat, the city's mayor said. Police detained the driver of a van with Spanish license plates carrying a number of gas tanks inside.

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) — Alerted by a detailed tip from Spanish colleagues, Dutch police arrested a 22-year-old man early today and said he was suspected of preparing a “terrorist attack” on a concert by an American rock band.

The arrest in Brabant province, south of Rotterdam, came hours after police cancelled a performance Wednesday night by Los Angeles band Allah-Las at a converted grain silo in the heart of the port city.

“The suspicion is that the suspect is involved in the preparation of a terrorist attack,” Rotterdam Police Chief Frank Paauw said.

“There is no terror threat now anymore,” he added. “There is no threat because we have arrested a suspect and the information about the threat was so specific on the location of the event that, with that arrest, we can conclude that the threat is gone.”

Police searched the man’s home after his arrest but released no details of anything they found. His identity was not released.

Meanwhile, a Spanish mechanic detained tonight while driving, apparently drunk, a white van containing a number of gas canisters close to the concert venue was to be questioned once he sobered up, police said.

However, he did not appear to be a terror suspect. Police said a search of his home uncovered nothing to indicate he was linked to the threat. Explosives experts who combed through the van’s contents found a few gas canisters but nothing suspicious, police said.

The 22-year-old suspect was being questioned by police and prosecutors. If authorities want to prolong his detention they will have to arraign him at a closed-doors hearing with an investigative judge before the end of Friday, a spokeswoman said.

It was not clear what the nature of the threat to the concert was, or if the band’s name played any role in the threat.

In an interview with British newspaper The Guardian last year, band members said they chose the word Allah, Arabic for God, because they were seeking a “holy-sounding” name and did not realize it might cause offense.