Dutch police make 2nd arrest after Rotterdam concert threat

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
ISTANBUL
Published 24.08.2017 11:18
Updated 24.08.2017 11:20
In this image taken from video officers stand behind a cordoned-off area in Rotterdam, Wednesday Aug. 23, 2017, after a concert by an American rock band was cancelled Wednesday night following a threat, the city's mayor said. (AP Photo)
In this image taken from video officers stand behind a cordoned-off area in Rotterdam, Wednesday Aug. 23, 2017, after a concert by an American rock band was cancelled Wednesday night following a threat, the city's mayor said. (AP Photo)

Dutch police have arrested a second suspect in relation to a threat in Rotterdam where a rock concert was canceled after a tip from Spanish authorities, NOS said on Thursday.

The new arrest came around 2 am (0000 GMT) in the town of Nordbrabant, which lies near the Belgian border. A 22-year-old man was arrested in his home, which was searched, reported NOS.

"He is in custody and will be questioned about the threat in Rotterdam," police said in a statement, adding that they conducted a thorough search of his home. Dutch police do not generally release identities or other details of suspects in criminal investigations.

Authorities closed off a venue where the US band Allah-Las was set to play in front of around 1,000 spectators. Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said at a press conference that night that a van full of gas canisters was found near the concert venue.

"He is in custody and will be questioned about the threat in Rotterdam," police said in a statement, adding that they conducted a thorough search of his home. Dutch police do not generally release identities or other details of suspects in criminal investigations.

Meanwhile, police said the driver of a Spain-registered white van carrying a number of gas canisters that was stopped Wednesday night close to the Maassilo concert venue — where the band Allah-Las had been due to perform — is unlikely to be a suspect in the threat probe.

In a statement, police said the man was possibly drunk and will be questioned later Thursday.

Explosives experts checked his van and found nothing suspicious beyond the gas canisters, according to the police statement.

A search of the man's home "uncovered no link with the terror threat ... at the Maassilo," police said. "The man, a repair man, had an explanation for the gas canisters that will be investigated today."

The performance by the Los Angeles band in Rotterdam was called off Wednesday night after Spanish authorities tipped Dutch police about a possible threat to the concert.

The van driver was detained for questioning two hours after the cancellation.

A Spanish counterterrorism official said Spain's Civil Guard received "an alert indicating the possibility of an attack in a concert that was going to take place in Rotterdam."

The Civil Guard shared the information with Dutch authorities Wednesday and was investigating the threat, said the source, who spoke anonymously because the Civil Guard is still probing the threat.

The Dutch counterterror coordinator has not changed the country's threat level as a result of the scare in Rotterdam. The threat is listed as "substantial," the fourth step of a five-level scale.

Authorities in Spain have said that there was, so far, no link between the Rotterdam incident and last week's terrorist attack in Barcelona, according to a report in El Mundo.

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