Dutch police said Thursday they had arrested another man after cancelling a Rotterdam concert by a US rock band following a tip-off about a possible terror threat.
"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 made a decision to investigate", he said. The city's mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb, said gas bottles were found in a small van with Spanish number plates found near the venue, where American rock group Allah-Las were due to perform.
The bandmates were preparing to hit the stage at The Maassilo venue when promoters pulled the plug following discussions with authorities, who had received a warning from their Spanish counterparts investigating the deadly vehicle attacks that killed 15 people last week (ends18Aug17). "The man is still detained and will be questioned when sober", police said in a statement.
Even on Wednesday however, there were doubts that he was in fact linked to the threat.
A 22-year-old male was taken into custody near Rotterdam early on Thursday (24Aug17), and is now being held as part of the investigation.
Dutch counter-terror coordinator Dick Schoof commended the police action and left the country's threat level unchanged at "substantial", the fourth step of a five-level scale.
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Security has been visibly ramped up in recent months across Europe, but on prominent public squares in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, the police presence tends to be subdued, and it is still unusual to see an automatic rifle in the hands of Dutch authorities. Investigators say he had a logical explanation for why he had the gas bottles in his van. The show hadn't yet started when the decision to cancel it was made. Now, after cancelling the group's performance in Rotterdam, police have confirmed that terrorists planned a massacre at the venue.
Allah-Las is a four-piece band from Los Angeles.
While Spanish police appeared to rule the man out of the inquiry, Mr Paauw said his team were still investigating, but it seemed likely "the man had had the bad luck to be in the wrong place at the wrong time".
In an interview with British newspaper The Guardian past year, band members said they chose the word Allah, Arabic for God, because they were seeking a "holy sounding" name and did not realize it might cause offense.
Frontman Miles Michaud said: "What's the alternative?" "We email back and explain why we chose the name, and mainly they understand".