Rotterdam terror threat: man, 22, arrested in Brabant

Police in bullet-proof vests close to the concert venue. Photo: Jan de Groen via HH

A 22-year-old man from Brabant has been arrested in connection with Wednesday evening’s terrorist threat in Rotterdam, broadcaster NOS said on Thursday morning.

The man from Zevenbergen was arrested by anti-terrorist police at around 2am and taken into custody. Rotterdam’s mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb later confirmed that he was the source of the threat that caused a rock concert to be cancelled at short notice.

Meanwhile, police have confirmed the driver of the white van with Spanish number plates containing gas bottles is a fitter who was drunk and that the bottles were part of his equipment. Nothing else suspicious was found in the vehicle and the man’s home was also searched.

Nevertheless, he is still being held and will be questioned again today, police said.

The terror threat in Rotterdam on Wednesday night was unconnected to the attacks in Spain earlier this month, despite the Spanish link, sources have told international news agencies AP and Reuters.

Reuters says a terrorism expert working with the Spanish authorities has told them the warning followed a long-running investigation by the Guardia Civil which was completely separate to the attack in Barcelona.

Rotterdam police have so far not commented on that claim.


On Wednesday night a concert by Californian band Allah-Las in the city’s Maassilo venue was cancelled after a tip-off from the Spanish police.

Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said he was informed about the terror threat towards the end of the afternoon. The threat said that an attack would take place during the performance and the tip-off was serious enough to merit cancelling the concert, he said.

Band members told the Guardian last year they had chosen the word Allah, Arabic for God, because they were seeking a ‘holy sounding’ name.

‘We get emails from Muslims, here in the US and around the world, saying they’re offended, but that absolutely wasn’t our intention,’ singer Miles Michaud told the paper.

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