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World News \ Europe

Dutch Police Detain Terror Suspect

In this image taken from video a police officer examines a van behind a cordoned-off area in Rotterdam. - AP

In this image taken from video a police officer examines a van behind a cordoned-off area in Rotterdam. - AP

24/08/2017 09:58

(Vatican Radio) Dutch police have detained a young man after a rock concert was canceled at the last minute in the port city of Rotterdam due to a "terror threat," officials said.

Listen to Stefan Bos' report:


The 22-year old man was taken into custody early Monday in the southern province of Brabant, Dutch media reported.

Thursday's detention came hours after the mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, said local police discovered a van containing gas canisters near a music venue and detained the driver, following a Spanish police warning of a terror threat in the Netherlands.

U.S. band Allah-Las - which often gets threats because of its name - was to perform at The Maassilo, a former grain silo and grain elevator in Rotterdam Maashaven which now houses a  nightclub.  "I think it was a wise decision to cancel the concert because during the evening the threat became possible clear," Mayor Aboutaleb said.

"There was a bus with Spanish license plates driven by a Spanish man."

MAN DRUNK 

Police later said that the man appeared drunk, claimed to have used the gas canisters for his work and was not believed to be a terror suspect.   

Aboutaleb explained earlier that police stopped the mini-bus as the vehicle "was driving several times through the area." He added that gas canisters were found in the van. "The driver has been detained for further interrogation to see what were his motives," while the vehicle was "being checked " as part of "an ongoing criminal investigation."   
 
A bomb squad was seen examining the van. Police wearing bulletproof vests were at the venue, which was evacuated. The mayor warned against "swift conclusions".

The developments came amid an ongoing investigation in Spain after more than a dozen people were killed in two attacks there last week.

Islamic State group has threatened to attack states that support the U.S.-led coalition against the Sunni militant group, prompting authorities in the Netherlands and other nations to be on high alert. 

  

24/08/2017 09:58