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A Concert Venue In The Netherlands Was Evacuated After A "Specific" Terrorist Threat

Spanish authorities had tipped Dutch police off about a possible terror-linked van carrying bottles of gas.

Originally posted on
Updated on

A concert in the Dutch city of Rotterdam was canceled Wednesday after police, acting on a terrorism tip from Spanish authorities, stopped a van with gas bottles inside.

The van, which had Spanish plates, was stopped near The Maassilo, which had planned to host the California-based band, the Allah-Las. Police found that the vehicle contained a number of gas canisters.

The driver was arrested, although later police said he was likely drunk at the time, and that a search of his home had uncovered nothing, according to AP.

Police said the driver had been released, but authorities remained on edge after authorities said they had received information about a threat from Spanish officials, which had prompted the search of the van and cancellation of the concert, the AP reported.

On Thursday, Rotterdam Police Chief Frank Paauw said officers had been passed information on a "specific" threat against the concert by Spanish authorities. Police said a second man, identified as a 22-year-old in the province of Brabant, was arrested in connection to the tip from Spanish officials and that the threat had now passed.

The man had been arrested in the early hours of Thursday morning on suspicion of being involved in the preparation of a terrorist attack, a police statement said.

Allah-Las released the following statement to BuzzFeed News on Wednesday:

Due to a potential terror threat at The Maassilo in Rotterdam, the Allah-Las show was cancelled tonight.

Details are not available at this time as the incident is still under investigation. The band is unharmed and are very grateful to the Rotterdam Police and other responsible agencies for detecting the potential threat before anyone was hurt.

We are unable to comment any further at this time.

On Thursday, the band was set to go forward with a concert in Warsaw, Poland.

The AP reported metal barriers were placed to help with security checks, but fans appeared to have been unfazed by the incident in the Netherlands.

Alik Keplicz / AP

Police officers watch as spectators are checked by security guards as they enter a club for a concert by the American Allah-Las rock band, in Warsaw, Poland.

"The Dutch authorities have informed us that there is no credible future threat to the venue or the band," the Allah-Las told BuzzFeed News in a statement Thursday. "More than anything, we want to thank the law enforcement personnel and our fans of Rotterdam—we're grateful everybody is safe."

The band is looking to reschedule their concert in Rotterdam, but will allow people who bought tickets to receive a refund.

In a 2016 interview with the Guardian, the lead singer of the Allah-Las, Miles Michaud, said the band chose their name because they wanted something "holy sounding."

“We get emails from Muslims, here in the US and around the world, saying they’re offended, but that absolutely wasn’t our intention,” Michaud told the paper. “We email back and explain why we chose the name and mainly they understand.”

European investigators have been working to determine the extent of the terror cell behind the Spain attacks last week. Police in Catalonia said the terrorists had planned to use explosives in their attacks, but were forced to use vehicles after an accidental explosion killed three plot members at a home.

The information about the planned attack comes in the wake of other large-scale terror attacks on concert venues in Europe in recent years: the 2015 attack in Paris that included the Bataclan, where 89 people where killed, and the attack on an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena in May this year, where 22 people were killed.

CORRECTION

Brabant is a province in the Netherlands. An earlier version of this post incorrectly said it was a town.

CORRECTION

The names of the band Allah-Las and singer Ariana Grande were misspelled in a previous version of this post.

Nidhi Prakash is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York

Contact Nidhi Prakash at nidhi.prakash@buzzfeed.com.

Salvador Hernandez is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Salvador Hernandez at salvador.hernandez@buzzfeed.com.

Francis Whittaker is a homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Francis Whittaker at francis.whittaker@buzzfeed.com.

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