Rotterdam terror threat: Spanish van driver released


Rotterdam police on Thursday evening released the Spanish driver of a white van spotted near the Maassilo concert venue which was at the heart of a security scare on Wednesday evening.

The driver is no longer a suspect and the gas bottles found in the car were part of his tools as a handyman and fitter, police said.

The venue was cleared and a concert by Californian band Allah-Las was cancelled after police received a tip-off that a terrorist attack was about to take place. The tip-off, which mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said came from the Spanish police, led to a major security alert.

It later transpired the threat had been issued by a 22-year-old college student identified by the Telegraaf as JF from the Brabant village of Zevenburgen.

The student reportedly placed the threat on the online message service Telegram, which is popular with jihadi networks. What the threat said, and why it was apparently picked up by the Spanish authorities, remains unclear.

Justice minister Stef Blok on Thursday said the student, who lives with his parents, had been idiotic. ‘We are very interested to hear why he carried out this stupid act,’ the minister said.

The man was arrested at 2am and taken from his home blindfolded. He remains in custody while the investigation continues.

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