Dutch police arrest man planning 'terrorist attack' on concert by American rock band
A 22-year-old man was arrested early Thursday after he was suspected of preparing a "terrorist attack" on a concert by an American rock band in Rotterdam, Dutch police said.
The arrest was made after a detailed tip from colleagues in Spain, according Ahmed Aboutaleb, mayor of Rotterdam, and came hours after officials cancelled a performance Wednesday night by Los Angeles band Allah-Las at a converted grain silo in the city, Sky News reported.
"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."
The suspect's identity was not released in line with Dutch privacy guidelines, while police searched hit home after his arrest but released no details of anything they found.
Meanwhile, a Spanish mechanic detained Wedmesday 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, according to police, who added 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.
Dutch Counterterror Coordinator Dick Schoof commended the police action on Twitter, saying it was "alert, appropriate for the current threat level." Schoof left the country's threat level unchanged at "substantial," the fourth step of a five-level scale.
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.
"We get emails from Muslims, here in the U.S. and around the world, saying they're offended, but that absolutely wasn't our intention," lead singer Miles Michaud told the newspaper. "We email back and explain why we chose the name, and mainly they understand."
Police in Warsaw said security was being beefed up for the band's performance there Thursday night. Robert Szumiata of Warsaw police told The Associated Press they had no information of any threat to the concert to be held at the downtown NIEBO, or Heaven, club.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.