Terror threat cancels Rotterdam concert
Posted August 23
Updated August 24
A terror threat early Wednesday in the Netherlands caused the cancellation of a concert at a venue in Rotterdam, police there said.
Later that night, authorities stopped a van with Spanish plates that was carrying gas cylinders inside an area cordoned off by police near Rotterdam Maassilo, the concert venue, Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb told reporters.
Authorities did not have to evacuate Maassilo because the concert hadn't started, Rotterdam Police press officer Roland Ekkers said. The American rock band Allah-Las was scheduled to perform, the band's website said.
Police did not offer details on the threat. Ekkers said it was too soon to say if the van was directly connected.
"It can also be someone who was going to a camping site, but with the threat that we have, and what we found in the van, we decided to investigate," he said.
Ekkers said the van, which police stopped around 9:30 p.m., was "driven by a Spaniard." Authorities found "about five" gas bottles in the vehicle.
Ekkers said the driver "has been taken into custody because we want to ask him about gas bottles."
Bomb experts are looking at the van, police said.
The threat comes as two suspects allegedly connected to the terror cell behind recent attacks in Spain were formally charged Tuesday amid reports the cell was planning to target Barcelona landmarks.
One woman was killed when a car mowed down pedestrians early Friday in Cambrils, Spain. The five assailants were fatally shot by police on the scene.
The Cambrils attack happened hours after a van plowed through crowds Thursday on the renowned Las Ramblas avenue, a popular tourist section of Barcelona, killing 13 people and injuring more than 100 others.
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On Monday, Spanish authorities shot and killed Younes Abouyaaqoub, the suspected driver of the van, after a dayslong search in Subirats, west of Barcelona.